I’ve seen three Emerald Ridge High School volleyball matches this season, and the Jaguars have won each time.
Emerald Ridge, which I saw beat Tahoma, Puyallup and Beamer, is currently undefeated in South Puget Sound League action, and its only loss came against SPSL North powerhouse Kentwood.
The Jaguars have the look of a team that can not only return to the Class 4A state tournament at St. Martins University in Lacey next month, but place in the top six slots. Emerald Ridge went 1-2 at state and was eliminated from the consolation round last year by the Puyallup Vikings.
Emerald Ridge’s front line, which was also its strength a year ago, has been dominating its opponents all year long. Middle hitter Tristyn Smith, outside hitter Jessica Davis and outside hitters Jenna Mullen and Audrey Saelens have made life miserable for opposing teams’ players.
The Jaguars can attack their opponents from an array of different points. Setter Isabella Zubrod is responsible for a majority of the assists on her teammates’ kills.
With postseason play right around the corner, the Jaguars are clicking on all cylinders. The Jaguars follow the familiar one-game-at-a-time mantra that’s championed by a majority of high school coaches.
Emerald Ridge head coach Bobby McGivern said this summer he expected his team to improve on last season’s state-tourney appearance. So far, his team is living up to those expectations.
“We’re hoping to finish in the top four (in the state),” McGivern said. “The goal is to get to that semi-final match, and win that, and have a chance to play in the finals.”
“There are a lot of competitive teams out there,” he said. “We obviously have to get through league and districts, too.”
If the Jaguars continue to play like they have so far, they shouldn’t have a problem achieving their goals.
Sports Editor Shaun Scott can be reached at 253-552-7002 or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_shaun.