Whiteaker Middle School’s varsity volleyball team started league play 4-0 and also went 3-1 in a tournament at the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis on Saturday, Oct. 1. (Submitted)

Whiteaker Middle School’s varsity volleyball team started league play 4-0 and also went 3-1 in a tournament at the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis on Saturday, Oct. 1. (Submitted)

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

Whiteaker Middle School’s volleyball teams are off to a blazing start.

After three weeks of matches, the four teams are a combined 13-1 in league play.

“We have always spent a lot of time focusing on the fundamentals of the game,” said Whiteaker physical education teacher Scott Coburn, who coaches the varsity team, which is 4-0 in league.

“We try to teach volleyball as it needs to be in order to make the kids successful at the next level. We teach the systems of volleyball, we expect a pass, set and hit every time, and set our overall expectations very high. Having been here for 25 years I have been able to get solid coaches, have set the bar high and have a great tradition of excellence.”

Along with an unblemished league record, Coburn’s squad also went 3-1 in a tournament at the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis, losing in the semifinals on Saturday, Oct. 1.

The other three teams are coached by Whiteaker teachers Carol Biamont, Amber Sweeney and Carley Parks.

“Since I was a high school head coach and club coach for several years I know what is needed to succeed at the next level,” Coburn said. “We try to run our program to that level. McNary’s coaches have been supportive of us. We meet and talk so that we are sure we all teach the things the same. It began with coach Dan Borresen 25 years ago and continues with coach Bruce Myers today.”

There are 54 eighth graders in the middle school program.

On the varsity roster are Grace Melting, Chloe Shepherd, Madison Alt, Camille Young, Emma Stephen, Eliana Dean, Lea Doutt, Taylor Ebbs, Jazmin Zepeda, Emerson Woomer, Kate Ronning and Michelle Gee.

“We also simply get great kids,” Coburn said. “Keizer loves its youth sports and our kids come in with a solid athletic background. We then take that and teach volleyball.”

The varsity team’s next home match is Wednesday, Oct. 19 against Leslie at 4:15 p.m. They host Claggett Creek on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 4:45 p.m.