Over the next week, we’ll be taking a position-by-position look at some of the top players in Oregon high school volleyball. Our first list focuses on the setters.
There are hundreds of standout volleyball players in Oregon and these lists are not intended to be comprehensive! Let us know about any other setters you think should be added.
Ellie Wallace (Nelson) photo by Taylor Balkom
S/OH Abbigayle Bailey, Jr., Damascus Christian
Bailey started at right-side hitter her first two seasons with the Eagles before moving to outside hitter and sharing setting duties with classmate Sierra Hale. Bailey is a Type 1 diabetic who has not let the disease hinder her on the volleyball court, “overcoming the obstacles this has presented and excelling despite her condition,” coach Emily Russau said. “Abbi has a true love for the game. She has dedicated herself to becoming an elite player, and her hard work and talent are a huge part of our team’s success.”
S/OH Beaux Bruegman, Jr., Sheldon
Bruegman is one of the top two-sport athletes in the state, both an outstanding six-rotation player on the volleyball court and a standout forward on the basketball team, being named team co-MVP in the spring. “Beaux is competitive and holds herself to a high standard,” Irish coach Martine Wodke said. “She leads by example.”
S Shealyn Cecil, Sr., West Linn
Cecil is one of two Lions co-captains this season after receiving second-team all-Three Rivers honors as a junior with 48 digs and 20 aces. West Linn runs a 5-1, “and she is the glue that keeps the team together,” coach Emilie Wilmes said of her preseason All-America candidate.
S Hailey Evans, Jr., Banks
Evans is the do-it-all spark plug of the Banks offense. In a Sept. 21 Cowapa League win over Astoria, she had seven kills and 57 assists, sparking the team to a three-set sweep. “We rely on Hailey setting for us, being a strong leader and very versatile with her skill set,” Banks coach Stephanie Wahne said. “She is a force to be reckoned with.”
S Sophie Fast, Jr., Tualatin
Fast took over setting duties for the Timberwolves as a sophomore, earning all-Three Rivers honorable mention, and coach Tiffany Zwick noted the growth in her game the past two seasons. “She’s always willing to improve and speed up the game with her setting,” Zwick said. “She not only has great hands, but she’s also an offensive threat at the net for us.”
S/OH Bridget Fenner, Sr., Mazama
Fenner started at setter as a freshman, then became a six-rotation player as a sophomore. She was the Skyline Conference player of the year as a junior, averaging 18.9 assists, 11 digs and 4.8 kills per match, and she has helped get the Vikings in position to make their first Class 4A state playoff appearance since 2005. Fenner is an OHSU Knight Scholar who plans to pursue a nursing career. “Bridget is one of the most animated volleyball players who exudes sheer joy for the game both in practice and in matches,” Mazama coach John Downey said.
S Lexi Fern, So., Gaston
Fern was an honorable mention all-Northwest League selection as a freshman. She jokes that she has “an unhealthy obsession with the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movies and their soundtracks.”
S Kaarina Geymann, Fr., Beaverton
Geymann carries on the family name with the Beavers after older sister Annika, a varsity setter, graduated in June. “Kaarina came right in as a freshman and took on a big-time leadership role in our program,” Beaverton coach Ashley Wagoner said. “She was not only voted captain by a team of 10 seniors, but she is a total commander on the court, directing everyone where to go and what to do.”
S Cammy Gore, So., Wilsonville
Midway through the season, Gore led the Wildcats with 152 assists (4.5 per set) and was serving .914 with 28 aces. Her emergence has allowed first-year coach Scott Thompson to switch to a 6-2, freeing junior Makenna Wiepert to hit in the front row.
S/RS Sierra Hale, Jr., Damascus Christian
Hale is an aspiring vocalist who often sings the national anthem before Eagles matches, then takes the court and dominates the opposition. A two-time all-Valley 10 selection, she led the team in kills as a freshman (290) and had 238 assists and 70 aces. Last spring, she led the team in kills and shined at the DCS State Invitational with 39 kills (.459 kill percentage), 39 assists and six aces in 10 sets. “Sierra loves volleyball and has a never-quit, won’t-lose attitude,” coach Emily Russau said. “She’s been playing since she was a little girl and has big dreams.”
S Sydney Harrington, Sr., West Albany
Harrington averages nearly eight assists per set and had only six ball-handling errors through 643 attempts this season, which Bulldogs coach Megan Wallace attributes to her attention to detail and dedication to volleyball. “She has given her heart to this sport and is all-in when she plays,” Wallace said. “She works her butt off to get her hitters the sets they need and thrives under pressure. She makes smart decisions in the moment to create and run an exciting offense.”
S Alexis Haury, So., Silverton
Haury is the state’s top sophomore prospect according to PrepDig Oregon and has regularly taken part in USA Volleyball’s National Team Development camps.
S/RS Madison Heagney, Sr., Crescent Valley
Heagney is an American Volleyball Coaches Association preseason All-American who has done a little of everything for the Raiders this season. Through 12 matches, she had a team-high 21 aces, 104 assists (3.9 per set), 32 kills, 33 digs and four blocks.
S/RS Hope Hoesing, So., Franklin
Lightning coach April Kaelin called Hoesing “a great digger, hitter, and aggressive server … the driving energy force for the team with her intensity and dedication.” She appreciated Hoesing’s willingness to move to setter this season. “Her willingness to do what is best for the team makes her an invaluable teammate,” Kaelin said.
S Kendal Ishida, Sr., Clackamas
First-year Cavaliers coach Nathan Blankenship knew of Ishida as a top setter and leader during the club season but now gets to work with her daily. “She’s an amazingly fast setter who seems to teleport to the ball,” he said.
S Kate Doorn, Sr., Summit
The University of Idaho commit was an all-Mountain Valley honorable mention selection as a sophomore and made the PrepDig Oregon 6A all-state team during the spring season.
S Laila Leaks, Sr., South Salem
Leaks was a second-team all-Mountain Valley selection in 2019 who came back during the spring and had 376 assists (9.6 per set), 36 aces and 47 blocks. “Laila is a great floor leader, and her knowledge of the game and what her team needs make a huge difference down the stretch in close matches,” South Salem coach Matt Leichty said.
S Mia McCaffrey, Sr., La Salle Prep
McCaffrey has started for the Falcons since her sophomore year, and coach Anna Dillard has come to rely upon her experience and understanding of the system to keep the offense humming. “Her ability to run the offense at the tempo we want to run will have a big impact on our success this season,” Dillard said. “You won’t hear much from her on the court, but you will surely feel her presence. She leads with a quiet confidence that her teammates trust and follow.”
S Jenny McKinnon, Sr., Crook County
McKinnon was named to the all-Intermountain first team during the spring season, finishing with 219 assists (4.6 per set), 65 digs and 13 aces (.928 serving percentage). “Jenny is one tough setter,” Cowgirls coach Kristy Struck said. “She is our workhorse who shows up and goes to work. She puts up a great ball and runs the offense with grit and intelligence.”
S/RS Kamden Mitchell, Fr., Crescent Valley
Raiders coach Troy Shorey praised Mitchell’s ability to come in as a first-year high schooler and run the offense for the state’s third-ranked team in Class 5A alongside senior Madison Heagney, an AVCA preseason All-American. The 5-10 Mitchell plays on the right side in the front row and sets in the back, averaging a team-high 5.3 assists per set to go with 79 digs, 34 kills and 15 aces.
S Hannah Nguyen, Sr., Jesuit
Nguyen has transitioned from being a superb defensive specialist the previous two seasons to setter this season, taking over for two all-state setters in Alison Buchholz (Washington and Lee) and Peyton Griffin (Cal State East Bay). The Crusaders attack hasn’t missed a beat with Nguyen (205 assists, 6.6 per set) and freshman Jackie Carle directing the offense. “Hannah gets better with every practice and is beginning to get a good connection with her hitters,” Jesuit coach Teresa Zimmerlee said. “Hannah is smart and motivated to do well for the team. We’ve been impressed.”
S/OH Delaney Northern, Sr., Central Linn
Northern is a two-time first-team all-Central Valley Conference selection who averaged nearly a double-double as a junior with 10.8 assists and 8.2 kills per match to go with 152 digs and 28 aces. Her mother and coach, Holly Northern, has used her in a 5-1 and a 6-2, hitting both outside and on the right side. “Delaney will do whatever is needed or asked for,” Holly Northern said. “She is one of my best passers and is very versatile with a high volleyball IQ.” Delaney also plays catcher on the softball team and took up snowboarding during the pandemic.
S/DS Lauren Stemple, Sr., Central Catholic
Stemple twice has made the all-Mt. Hood second team as a setter, but with the emergence of Mia Starr as a six-rotation setter and outside hitter, Stemple has added defensive specialist to her repertoire without missing a beat. She has 124 assists and 61 digs this season and is serving at a .946 clip with 13 aces. “Lauren is a steady leader who is the first to show up and the last to leave every day,” Rams coach Kayla Hambley said. “She is respected by her teammates because she works hard during every drill, match, and off the court. Her quiet demeanor on the court proves that top-tier athletes can lead by example and through demonstrating poise and work ethic.”
S/OH Mia Starr, Jr., Central Catholic
Starr is the daughter of LaReina (Woods) Starr, the first Black student-athlete to play volleyball at the University of Oregon who ranks 10th on the school’s all-time digs list, and the younger sister of former Rams standout receiver Silas Starr (now at Stanford). Mia is a star in her own right, a first-team all-Mt. Hood selection as a sophomore who leads the team this season in assists with 194 (6.3 per set) and serving percentage (.973 with 14 aces) to go with 31 kills and 12 blocks. “Mia’s versatility and drive are what set her apart,” Central Catholic coach Kayla Hambley said. “She is willing to step into any role that the team needs, and she always does so with grit and humility. She has her hands on almost every ball on our side of the net, and while it often goes unnoticed, she is making the play better for her teammates and ‘bettering the ball.’”
S Ellie Wallace, Sr., Nelson
Wallace has made the most of her move from Clackamas when the Hawks split off this summer. She has more than 275 assists, spreading the wealth among Nelson’s bevy of talented hitters, to go with 48 digs, 18 aces, 16 kills and four blocks. “Ellie is the smartest setter,” Hawks coach Lisa McBee said. “She has great vision on the court and works hard to lead the hitters with the right set at the right time.”
S Brooklynn Walters, Sr., Vernonia
Walters is one of the best all-around players in the state, a two-time all-Northwest League selection and a second-team Class 2A all-state pick as a sophomore. She also has made the all-league team twice in basketball and once in softball. Loggers coach Teresa Williams has asked Walters to get more involved in the offense this season, not just distributing the ball but attacking as well. “Brooklynn’s leadership on the court continues to help drive the team towards the top,” Williams said.
S/MH Kaleah Webb, Sr., Hillsboro
Webb played setter for most of her career with the Spartans, but the 6-2 senior added a new position to her repertoire by playing middle hitter in the front row this season. She leads the team in blocking and serving.
S Oci White, Sr., Catlin Gabel
White is the “old soul” of the team, a second-team all-Lewis & Clark selection as a junior, when she had a team-high 128 assists (6.1 per set). She’s improved her numbers across the board this season, averaging 8.4 assists per set (226 total) and serving a career-best 91.1 percent with 24 aces. “I wish my path had crossed Oci’s two years before,” Eagles coach Jeannette Lee said. “She’s a born setter, and I’m so proud of the way she’s developed in that role, both in her skill and the way she commands the floor.”
S/OH Makenna Wiepert, Jr., Wilsonville
Wiepert ran a 5-1 offense her first two seasons with the Wildcats and averaged nearly 24 assists per match as a sophomore, but she’s hitting in the front row this season and showing off all facets of her game. The oldest of 20 cousins in her family, she leads the team with 103 kills (.296 hitting percentage) and is second in assists (168, 4.2 per set) and digs (78). “Makenna is a truly gifted setter who is capable of putting balls away from multiple positions,” Wilsonville coach Scott Thompson said.