Oregon’s top high school volleyball players: Meet the state’s best hitters

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 fourth list focuses on the outside and right side hitters. (Setters | Liberos | Middle blockers)

There are hundreds of standout volleyball players in Oregon and these lists are not intended to be comprehensive! Let us know about any other hitters you think should be added.

CeAnna O’Loughlin (Jesuit) photo by Leon Neuschwander

OH Leah Agost, Sr., Clackamas

The younger sister of former University of Oregon standout Taylor Agost is starting to get noticed by colleges as well. Cavaliers coach Nathan Blankenship called her “a gifted six-rotation player.”

OH Kendyl Arnett, So., West Albany

Arnett, the No. 6 sophomore prospect in the state according to PrepDig Oregon, was invited to an upcoming USA Volleyball National Team Development Camp in Ohio. She played for the varsity in the spring and has continued her ascent this fall, hitting a team-high .462 (51 kills) through 18 sets. “The amount of growth she has made in such a short time is crazy,” Bulldogs coach Megan Wallace said. “She has such a high level of understanding of the game and makes incredibly smart decisions on the court that you would expect to see from an older player.” 

OH/MB Gracie Arnold, Sr., Cottage Grove

Arnold was a first-team all-Sky-Em selection as a junior and has drawn attention from small colleges in the region for volleyball and basketball. “Gracie is a bright light on the court who lifts up everyone around her, both with her positivity and consistent competitive nature,” Lions coach Abby Ladd said.  

OH/DS Ella Baley, Jr., Mazama

Baley might be the most accomplished female athlete on the Mazama campus. She was a first-team all-Skyline selection in basketball and softball and made the all-state second team in softball during the spring. On the volleyball court, she made the Skyline all-defensive team with 188 digs (17.1 per match), and she averaged nearly 13 digs and served 22 aces in the Vikings’ first five matches this season. “Ella is able to competitively see the court and read her opponents, which is vital to our team,” said Mazama coach John Downey. 

OH/DS Sophie Biehler, Sr., Tualatin

Biehler has worn many hats for the Timberwolves throughout her career, setting as a freshman and playing right-side and defensive specialist as a sophomore. She moved to libero during the spring season and was a first-team all-Three Rivers League selection, setting the school’s single-match record for digs (34) and finishing the six-week campaign with 212 digs, 25 aces and 28 assists. Tualatin coach Tiffany Zwick has her playing all-around this season. “She is the type of player anyone would be lucky to coach,” Zwick said. “Sophie’s energy, experience and knowledge of the game ups the play of her team.”

OH Natalie Brinda, Sr., Franklin

Brinda is an energetic outside who is known on the team for her nonchalance over the many crowd-pleasing kills she produces. “The crowd is going bananas, and she treats her best plays with humility and is right back to business,” Lightning coach April Kaelin said. “Her even-keeled temperament is a huge asset to the stability of the team.”

OH/MB Emma Burlingame, Sr., Mountainside

Burlingame had played middle blocker her entire career, both in club and for the Mavericks, and made the all-Metro third team last season, but first-year coach Lena Chan moved her outside this season, and she’s hitting .435 with a team-high 181 kills (4.4 per set) along with 115 digs (2.8 per set), 24 aces and 11 blocks. Her teammates call her “the backbone of our team who continues to inspire with her continual drive for excellence,” Chan said.  

OH Elliott Bush, Sr., Central Catholic

Bush is quite the Renaissance woman. Besides being a standout on the volleyball court, where she was a first-team all-Mt. Hood selection during the spring season (team-high 96 kills), she also is a standout on the track — she won the district 100-meter and javelin titles and placed fifth at the Class 6A state meet in the javelin as a junior — and is co-president of the school’s Period Club, dedicated to facilitating conversations and advocating for policy change to combat “period poverty.” This fall, she leads the team with 101 digs (3.3 per set) and 20 aces (.961 serving percentage) and is third in kills with 92 (.296 hitting percentage). “Elliott leads with a unique energy,” Rams coach Kayla Hambley said. “Her carefree spirit creates a lightness on the court, but don’t mistake that for a lack of competitiveness. She wants to win — she just knows how to have fun while leading the team to victory.” 

OH/RS Emma Cereghino, Sr., Oregon City

Cereghino can hit from either side of the court, and her versatility opens many possibilities for the Pioneers attack. “Her blocking and hitting abilities are an important part of the team’s success,” Oregon City coach Erica Frafjord said.

OH Nita Cook, Sr., Vernonia

Cook is a two-time first-team all-Northwest League selection who in 2019 helped the Loggers return to the Class 2A state tournament after a 21-year absence and led the team in kills and digs during the spring season. As a freshman, she was named league player of the year in softball. “Although undersized on the outside, her vertical leap and quickness make her hard to beat,” Vernonia coach Teresa Williams said. “Nita’s competitiveness and hustle will be huge assets this year.” 

OH Kayleigh Carpenter, Jr., South Salem

Carpenter was a first-team all-league selection during the spring, when she led the Saxons in kills with 138 (3.6 per set) while hitting .309. She averaged 2.7 digs per set and had 24 aces. She plays multiple positions for her North Pacific Juniors club, including libero and defensive specialist, and has committed to Boise State as a back-row player. “Kayleigh is a competitor and just finds a way to get the job done,” South Salem coach Matt Leichty said. “She always seems to step up when the pressure is on and knows how to finish.”

OH/MH Evie Cox, Sr., Franklin

Cox’s teammates named her captain this season, and Lightning coach April Kaelin said it’s easy to see why. “Her love for volleyball is undeniable, and her excitement to play is inspiring to the team,” Kaelin said. “She not only dedicates time to improving herself but also her teammates at all levels of play.” 

OH/MB Greta Davis, Sr., Sisters

Davis has made the all-Oregon West team all three years of her high school career, moving up from honorable mention as a freshman to the second team as a sophomore and finally to co-player of the year as a junior, when she had 102 kills, 10 blocks, 16 digs and nine aces. She has committed to sign with Sacramento State for both indoor and beach volleyball. “Greta is a floor leader with lots of energy and a powerful attack,” Outlaws coach Rory Rush said. “Her power and volleyball IQ set her apart as one of the best hitters in the state.” 

OH/S Kali Dransfeldt, Jr., North Clackamas Christian

Dransfeldt was a first-team all-Valley 10 selection during the spring and has propelled the Saints to a 23-3 record this season.

OH Ashli Edmiston, Sr., Wilsonville

An AVCA preseason All-American who twice has made the all-NWOC team, Edmiston helped the Wildcats to a second-place finish at the 2019 Class 5A state tournament. She led the team during the spring season by hitting .366 with 3.7 aces per match and was second in digs (4.9 per match). She missed two weeks this season with a sprained ankle but is averaging 3.9 kills per set (.315 hitting percentage). “Ashli is one of the best all-around volleyball players I’ve seen at the high school level,” Wilsonville coach Scott Thompson said. “She’s highly competent at every skill and hits much harder than her unassuming build would lead you to believe.” 

OH Fran Eisenhardt, Jr., Valley Catholic

Eisenhardt plays defensive specialist during the club season, but Valiants coach Becky Kemper uses her as the team’s second outside hitter opposite Naima Foster “because of her consistent ball control and ability to take any set and do something smart with it,” she explained. Eisenhardt is also the team’s best server, leading the team in aces last season using a knuckling float serve, and she led the team in digs. 

OH Gwen Fife, Jr., Sheldon

Fife is better known for her play on the beach, where she has committed to play for the University of Utah, but she has become a key contributor for the Irish indoors as well. 

OH Naima Foster, Jr., Valley Catholic

Foster last season shared Cowapa player of the year honors with teammate Maddie Klopcic (now at Puget Sound), leading the team in kills and blocks while hitting .333. “Naima has an unbelievable jump reach, so she gets above most every block when she hits,” Valiants coach Becky Kemper said. “She has developed into a true six-rotation player, and we use her on offense in the back row consistently.” 

OH Elizabeth Gansen, Sr., Churchill

Gansen is better known for her play on the beach, having traveled nationwide for sand tournaments, but she also is a standout for the Lancers indoors. As of midseason, she had 73 kills and 104 digs with a 2.02 serve receive average. “She has amazing court awareness and the ability to translate her knowledge to her teammates,” Churchill coach Bre Gibbons said. “Elizabeth has a whip and can pound the ball and also hits the cutty shot like I’ve never seen before. Defensively, she is a force in the back row and takes on every ball as a challenge.”

OH Sophie Gregoire-Salagean, Jr., Newberg

Gregoire-Salagean, the state’s No. 1 junior recruit according to PrepDig Oregon, recently committed to the University of Oregon after leading the Tigers in kills and blocks last spring. StadiumTalk.com lists her as the state’s best player regardless of graduation year.

OH Emma Hall, Sr., Sandy

Hall has been a consistent all-around threat for the Pioneers as an attacker and playing in the back row. “She swings well from the outside and finds her way around the court very well,” Sandy coach Alyssa Perreira said.

OH Hailey Heider, Sr., West Albany

Heider has become the leader of a Bulldogs team that is 14-0 in Mid-Willamette play. She was named to PrepDig Oregon’s 5A all-state team as a junior and had a team-high 126 kills (3.3 per set) with 107 digs, 23 aces and 15 blocks midway through this season. “Hailey is such a special player,” West Albany coach Megan Wallace said. “She is so fun to watch. It’s hard to match her work ethic. She leads by example and is one of the most gracious and humble players I have had the pleasure of coaching.”

RS/DS Sandra Hill, Sr., Mazama

Hill started and played all six rotations for the Vikings as a freshman. After her family (members of the Klamath Tribe) moved from Klamath Falls before her sophomore year, she returned to town and had 57 kills, 127 digs, 24 aces and 11 blocks during the spring season. A three-sport standout, she made the all-Skyline team in basketball last season. “Sandra has grown her mental toughness in this game while enduring life-altering events outside of volleyball,” Mazama coach John Downey said. “We are proud of her growth in the face of adversity.” 

OH Addie Hoover, Jr., West Linn

Hoover is a three-year varsity player for the Lions who hit .275 as a junior (25 kills). She is PrepDig’s No. 2 recruit in its Class of 2023 state rankings. West Linn coach Emilie Wilmes called her “a player that is always just solid and a great competitor, someone who can be relied upon by her teammates.”

OH Macey Hughes, Fr., Santiam Christian

Hughes has stepped into the breach with the graduation of Emily Bourne (now at Oregon State) and should become a focal point of the offense over her career. A lefty who is a natural right-side hitter, she has moved to the outside because of team needs this fall. “She has taken (the move) in stride and done amazing,” Eagles coach Kelli Fitzpatrick said. “She’s always got a smile on her face, even when I’m reprimanding her. She is definitely someone you’ll want to watch for.” 

OH Bella Jacobson, Fr., Crescent Valley

Jacobson is one of four freshmen who have helped turn around a Raiders program that had just two wins during the spring. The 5-9 outside hitter had a team-high 108 kills (3.4 per set) with a .368 hitting percentage in helping the team get off to a 10-2 start. “She is a very skilled outside who continues to improve her skills and is eager to get better every ball,” Crescent Valley coach Troy Shorey said.

OH Josie Kasberger, Sr., Crook County

Kasberger was a defensive specialist for the Cowgirls the past two seasons but has moved to outside hitter this fall. In their first 25 sets, she had 80 kills, 83 digs and 18 aces while serving at a .947 clip. 

OH Ayden King, Sr., Junction City

King was a second-team all-Sky-Em selection during the spring, when she hit .337 with 153 kills, 116 digs and 24 aces despite missing three matches because of an ankle injury. “A very talented player with hops,” Tigers coach Gary Meininger said. “At 5-7, she hits like a six-footer.” 

OH Mackenzie King, So., Burns

Hilanders coach Paula Toney considers King an up-and-coming talent who learned from playing alongside one of the program’s all-time greats in Allie Hueckman during the spring season. She had 121 kills and 22 blocks playing in the middle and at right-side hitter as a freshman.

OH Kali Lukovich, Jr., Nelson

Lukovich draws attention to herself as a TikTok master off the court and with her booming kills on it. She has more than 90 kills and 80 digs during Mt. Hood Conference play this season after making the all-MHC first team for Clackamas in the spring. “She is a powerhouse,” Hawks coach Lisa McBee said. “She is an insightful athlete who loves the game.”

OH Kendall Maykut, Sr., Crook County

Maykut made the all-Intermountain first team during the spring, when she finished with 144 kills (three per set), 46 digs and 14 aces (.930 serving percentage). In the Cowgirls’ first five matches this season, she had 43 kills (2.9 per set) and 44 digs. “Kendall really finished Season 2 strong last year and has continued the pace this year,” Crook County coach Kristy Struck said.

OH Elsa McDermott, Jr., Catlin Gabel

McDermott made the all-Lewis & Clark first team in the spring, when she led the team in kills (121), digs (130), aces (31) and serve receive (2.08 rating). She had 60 kills, 90 digs and 19 aces through eight matches this season. “Elsa is the quietest person on our team, but every coach wants an Elsa on their team,” Eagles coach Jeannette Lee said. “She will outcommunicate, outwork and out-IQ everyone else on the court. We ask a lot of her, and she always rises to the next challenge.”

OH Mallory Menken, Sr., Mazama

Menken and Vikings teammate Bridget Fenner partner on the sand volleyball court and also have been key components in Mazama’s best start since 2005, the last time it made the Class 4A state tournament. Menken was a second-team all-conference selection as a junior, when she averaged 9.2 kills per match, and this season, she had 34 kills through five matches. “Mallory has a heavy arm swing and great leaping abilities, allowing her to terminate the ball on the court,” Vikings coach John Downey said.

OH Avyree Miethe, Sr., Warrenton

Miethe has been an all-league player her first three seasons for the Warriors, including the Coastal Range League player of the year as a sophomore and a first-team selection in the spring, when she had 174 kills, 221 digs and 60 aces. She’s also a standout on the basketball and softball teams as well as an avid country music fan, flying to Indiana for her 16th birthday to see her favorite musician, Luke Combs, in concert — naturally, with front-row seats. “Avyree is able to combine her natural gifts with a strong work ethic,” said her mother and coach, Staci Miethe. “She strives to improve and be her best and has natural leadership and charisma.”

RS/DS Sydney Myhre, Sr., Sisters

Myhre moved up from the all-Oregon West honorable mention list as a sophomore to make the second team last spring, when she had 25 kills, 25 digs, 12 blocks and five aces. “Sydney is an all-around player with great court sense and a powerful attack from the right side,” Outlaws coach Rory Rush said.

OH CeAnna O’Loughlin, Jr., Jesuit

O’Loughlin plays all six rotations opposite Izzy Patterson, and the Crusaders hardly skip a beat with her up front. O’Loughlin hits .313 with 89 kills (second to Patterson on the team) and has 15 aces (second on the team) and 51 digs. “She is consistent and aggressive with lots of power,” Jesuit coach Teresa Zimmerlee said. “CeAnna and Izzy are both ‘high’ hitters with the capability to hit a variety of different shots.”

OH Izzy Patterson, Jr., Jesuit

Patterson was one of two freshmen on the Crusaders’ 2019 state championship team, and she figures to play a significant role if they are to win a third consecutive title this fall. She had a team-high 94 kills (.368 hitting percentage) through 13 matches to go with a team-best .983 serving percentage (nine aces), 56 digs and six blocks. PrepDig’s No. 3 recruit in the Class of 2023 is also a top beach volleyball player. “Izzy plays a dynamic all-around for us and can jump with the most talented leapers out there,” Jesuit coach Teresa Zimmerlee said. “She is able to hit a variety of shots.” 

RS Avery Pickard, Jr., Jesuit

Pickard does a little of everything on the right side for the Crusaders, hitting .342 with 53 kills through 13 matches along with nine blocks (second on the team), 33 digs and 11 aces (.980 serving percentage). “Avery is a solid opposite for us and a strong, consistent all-around when we need her in the back row,” Jesuit coach Teresa Zimmerlee said.

OH Emma Pruitt, Sr., Oregon City

The Pioneers are better known as a top girls basketball program, but the volleyball team posted a 20-win season in 2019 and is 18-6 this fall, with Pruitt playing a significant part in the program’s ascent. She was a first-team all-Three Rivers selection in the spring. “Emma is a leader on our team who really pulls our team together,” Oregon City coach Erica Frafjord said. “Her calm demeanor helps our team stay focused on the next point. She’s always first to compliment a teammate on a job well done.”

OH Jaydn Puncochar, So., Hillsboro

Puncochar is a six-rotation player with a killer jump serve. She started as a freshman during the spring season and leads the Spartans in kills and serve receive this fall. 

OH Brooke Rogers, Sr., West Albany

With so much attention paid to all-state hitters Hailey Heider and Gracie Boeder, Rogers can sneak up on opponents to deadly effect. Her 81 kills (2.3 per set) ranked second on the team at midseason, and she had 98 digs and 13 blocks. “Brooke is kind of a quiet assassin on the court,” Bulldogs coach Megan Wallace said. “She looks innocent enough, but she has power when she hits and is just as much of an asset in the back row as she is in the front. She has the ability to read and react and get her platform to the perfect position to make a beautiful pass even on hard-driven balls.” 

RS Ava Sciulli, Sr., Nelson

Sciulli was one of the few seniors to make the trek from Clackamas to Nelson when the school opened this year, becoming a captain for the young Hawks. She was hitting .364 with 11 blocks and serving 100% through Sept. 21. “Ava is one of the strongest and most consistent hitters on the team,” Nelson coach Lisa McBee said. “She excels in the big moments when her team needs her the most.”

OH Stella Scott, Sr., Churchill

Scott has been on the move throughout her career with the Lancers. She played right side as a freshman before sliding to the middle as a sophomore and setting during the spring season. She switched outside this season, and she has a team-high 80 kills (.272 hitting), 46 digs and 11 blocks. “Sophie is a force on our team and a leader,” Churchill coach Bre Gibbons said. “She is able to see the court and put the ball in the correct places. She can slam the ball down with ease and hit all the shots.”

OH Amyah Semau, Jr., West Linn

Semau has played on the varsity team since her freshman season. During the spring, she hit .278 (19 kills) “and has really started to come into being the player we knew she would be,” Lions coach Emilie Wilmes said. “She is such an athletic player.” 

RS/MB Jamie Seward, Sr., Sweet Home

Seward played alongside five first-team all-Oregon West players during the spring, when the Huskies won the 4A Showcase title. A second-team all-conference selection as a sophomore and junior and four-year varsity player, the 5-11 left-hander has committed to play at Austin Peay. She also swam legs on a couple of 2020 state champion swimming relays and was third in the 100-yard backstroke. “She’s just a very strong player,” Sweet Home coach Mary Hutchins said. “She hits with a ton of power and blocks really well. She’s just a great teammate and super fun to have on the team.” 

OH/MH Cayton Smith, Jr., Oregon Episcopal

Smith is a natural outside hitter who moved to the middle this season without skipping a beat. She made the all-Lewis & Clark second team each of her first two seasons. Aardvarks coach Nikole Weir called her “a gym rat who often stays to shoot hoops after volleyball practice.” 

OH Kenna Stratton, So., Lakeview

Stratton has played a significant role in the Honkers’ success this season. She has 140 kills, 123 digs and 40 aces while serving a team-high 185 points. “She has a natural ability to see the court and a competitive nature and mindset that will serve her well in the coming years,” Lakeview coach Anneke Griffith said.

OH Kaja Szuba, Sr., Clatskanie

Szuba is an exchange student from Wroclaw, Poland, who plays libero for her home club, but Tigers coach Amanda Baker took one look at her at practice and instantly moved her to outside hitter. “She has really elevated our game,” Baker said. “Great team attitude, positive and supportive, with a solid skill set. I expect big things from her while she is here.” 

OH Paige Thies, Fr., Oregon City

Thies is another player having an impact with the Pioneers this fall. Oregon City coach Erica Frafjord called her “a great addition to our team. She is a fantastic hitter, and her ability to put the ball down is incredible.” 

OH Kaitlyn Van Well, Sr., Dallas

Van Well is not only a standout on the volleyball court, where she was an honorable mention all-Mid-Valley selection during the spring season, but she also shows pigs and sheep with the Polk County 4-H extension. “Kaitlyn has grown a ton in the last four months and has a renewed confidence,” Dragons coach Kayce Lilley said. “She’s hungry and ready to lead us. We count on her leadership and experience, and she’s stepping up in a big way.”

OH Keira Vaughn, Sr., Sheldon

Vaughn was a standout middle blocker for the Irish her first two years, earning all-Southwest Conference honorable mention as a sophomore. She has thrived since moving to the outside in the spring.

OH Emily Warmenhoven, Sr., West Linn

The state’s top recruit according to PrepDig.com and a Belmont University commit, the AVCA preseason All-American was a first-team all-Three Rivers selection as a junior, when the Lions co-captain had 157 kills (.355 hitting percentage), 31 aces, 79 digs and 12 blocks. “Emily is one of our all-around players who we rely on heavily,” West Linn coach Emilie Wilmes said.

OH Araeya Watanabe, Sr., South Salem

Watanabe made the all-Mountain Valley second team in 2019 and averaged three digs and 2.7 kills per set (102 total) with 30 aces during the spring season, when the Saxons went 12-0. South Salem coach Matt Leichty said Watanabe has developed into one of the smartest hitters to come through the program during his time there. “She has a huge variety of ways she can score, and she makes it very difficult on opponents’ defense,” Leichty said. “She is that quiet leader that comes in and does it the right way every day.”

OH Aly Wright, Sr., Wells

Wright has helped lead the Guardians to a share of the PIL lead entering the final week of the season. She has a team-high 76 kills with a .264 hitting percentage, and her 21 aces are second on the team. “Her energy, positive attitude and play at the net has been a force for the team,” Wells coach Mark Mendak said.

OH Kailyn Wright, Sr., Burns

Wright was a first-team all-region selection as a junior, when she had 164 kills in 16 matches, hitting .217 to go with 143 digs, 24 aces and 20 blocks. Highlanders coach Paula Toney called her the team’s go-to player. “Kaitlyn is a quick player who dedicates herself to getting better every day,” Toney said.

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