Glacier Peak brings back plenty of talent | Volleyball

By David Pan | Sep 15, 2017

First-year coach Dave Thorn is eager to see the Glacier Peak volleyball team in action.

The Grizzlies bring back an experienced squad with six seniors and eight returners from last season’s district playoff squad.

“We have really good athletes,” said Thorn, who previously was head coach at East Central University in Oklahoma and the University of Texas Pan American in Texas. “It’ll be great to see them on the floor.”

The offense is led by a pair of experienced setters in senior Cierra Pratt and Allisa Szalda.

“A setter is like a quarterback or a point guard,” Thorn said. “They’re the person handling the ball the most. Having an experienced person is that position is very critical.”

Despite the graduation of first-team, all-league standout Lauren Sanders, who is now at the University of Washington, the Grizzlies have good depth in all of the hitter positions.

Thorn expects junior middle blocker Sydney Petersen, senior outside hitter Emily Jameson and junior outside hitter Natalie AhYat to lead a strong offense.

“We’ll be able to put a lot of different people in there,” Thorn said.

What is different about the Glacier Peak attack is the presence of five left-handled players, an anomaly that Thorn plans to take full advantage of.

“Usually, you’re lucky to have one,” Thorn said. “We’ll be attacking in different directions.”

The Grizzlies’ defense will be anchored by senior Macie McQuarrie and junior Ashley Cordero.

Thorn’s coaching philosophy is to look at his roster and try to put the players in the best positions to succeed on the court rather than have his players adapt to a certain system.

The Glacier Peak coach started the volleyball program at East Central University and coached there for eight years. He stepped down in 2015. Thorn said that he did not have any plans to return to coaching when he moved back to Washington. He originally is from Spokane.

A friend told Thorn about the opening at Glacier Peak and he looked into it and decided to pursue the opportunity.

“It was the right place at the right time,” Thorn said. “It’s a great group of athletes. I’m looking forward to the season.”

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