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Adrienne Haggerty and Mahie Kaawa named to American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American List

Sophomores Adrienne Haggerty and Mahie Kaawa were named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American List.  Haggery was named to the second team and Kaawa to the third team. Only six players from the NWAC Conference were named to the AVCA List, with Highline and Spokane Falls each having two. Haggerty and Kaawa were both key figures in Highline’s second place finish in the 2018 NWAC Volleyball Championships.

Adrienne Haggerty Highline Volleyball
Adrienne Haggerty (5) with one of her 250 kills in the 2018 season.

Mahie Kaawa Highline VolleyballMahie Kaawa in NWAC Conference play.  As one of the league’s top liberos she set the tone for the Highline defense.

Men’s Wrestling

West Regional Championships

(Feb. 10, 2019)

Update from Head Coach Scott Norton

Well, it’s been a pretty crazy weekend.  We sent half our team over to Coeur D’Alene on Friday morning.  I was going to hop in our van but it made more sense to let another competitor go.The good news is six of our guys made it.  The bad news is two coaches and four starters could not make it to Idaho, or even out of our neighborhood to be honest.

Highline was led by Shandon Akeo, who made the finals by pinning his old rival Christian Balagso from Southwestern Oregon. Shandon ended up losing 11-7 to #2 ranked Jason Shaner. Shandon set the tone for the entire team.handon was also joined by 141 pounder Josh Franich who beat Brandon Gibson from Southwest Oregon 6-2, and then pinned Hasann Hawthorne from North Idaho to punch his ticket to the national tournament.  Josh did awesome he is a hammer in the top position.

Kettner Fields 165, lost to Izaiah Duran of NIC, but came back to qualify by pinning Justin Knight  from Southwestern Oregon to place 3rd.

Our 4th qualifier came at 174.  Connor Rosane qualified for the second time.  He beat Josh Hammers from Umpqua and then Trager Abatti from North Idaho to join the rest of the national qualifiers.

Ben Gore joined the party as he qualified by beating Christian Grover of NIC, and then he beat Umpqua’s Gottlieb Davis to finish 3rd.  Ben’s loan loss was to Trevor Senn of Clackamas..

 

 

2019 Highline Wrestling National Champion participantsLeft to Right: Assistant Coach Kurt Swartz, Ketner Fields, Ben Gore, Shandon Akeo, Josh Franich (not pictured: Dan Allen)
photo by Matt Thomson (Highline Thunderword)

Our last qualifier was Dan Allen.  He finished fourth but has been wrestling very well over the last month. He was selected and given a wild card to the national tournament at 197 pounds.

We are very proud of the six men.  They have worked very hard this year and it’s showing.  Congratulations to all 6 national qualifiers, outstanding job.  Once the team returns and the weather clears we will make a push for the National Tournament in Council Bluffs, Iowa on March 1 and 2.

National Qualifiers are listed below.
133 Shandon Akeo 2nd
141 Josh Franich 3rd
165 Kettner Fields 3rd
174 Connor Rosane 3rd
184 Ben Gore 3rd
197 Dan Allen 4th

Men’s Basketball

 Thunderbirds Blow Past Green River

RJ Nelson Hits for 33 Off the Bench

Feb. 16 – Highline (17-7; 6-3 league) used a 27-10 run over the last ten minutes of the game for a commanding 90-62 win over the the visiting Green River Gators (17-8;8-2 league). T-Bird RJ Nelson, playing 29 minutes off the bench, had a monster game with 33 points and 11 rebounds, going 13-15 from the field.  David Harris, who only played 4 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, chipped in with 14 points and 5 rebounds.  Green River was led by Alex Sommerfield’s 15 points and Kevin Baker, with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Highline dominated all aspects of the game, outshooting (50%-34%) and outrebounding (48-26) the Gators .
The T-Birds travel to Pierce for a game on Feb. 20 before hosting South Puget Sound on Feb. 21 in a make-up of a game snowed out on Feb. 6.

RJ Nelson - Highline Men's Basketball
RJ Nelson with one of his 11 rebounds to go with 33 points.

Women’s Basketball

Highline Adds to Green River’s Woes

Lafitaga Leads T-Birds Over Winless Gators

Feb. 16 – Green River traveled to Highline winless on the season and left the same way as the Thunderbirds evened its record at 10-10 (6-3 league) with a 62-51 win over the Gators (0-17; 0-9 league).  Jazmina Lafitaga led the Thunderbirds with 15 points on 7-10 shooting while Tori Allen contributed 9 points and 11 rebounds.  Green River was led by Kaylin Fietz with 21 points and Florene Jimerson’s 17 points.
While Highline continued to struggle in its shooting, only hitting 37%, it held Green River to 33%.  It was on the boards and steals that the T-Birds controlled the game, with 14 pilfers and outrebounding the visitors 48-28.
Highline travels to Pierce for a game on Feb. 20 before hosting South Puget Sound on Feb. 21 in a make-up of a game snowed out on Feb. 6.

Kanani Kremers - Highline Women's Basketball
Highline’s Kanani Kremers gets past Florene Jimerson for the layup.

Men’s Basketball

Late Surge Leads T-Birds over Grays Harbor

Feb. 13 – Highline scored the last 11 points of the game over the final 3 ½ minutes to defeat the Grays Harbor Chokers 68-58.  David Harris led the Thunderbirds (16-7; 5-3) with 24 points and 8 rebounds, while the Chokers (8-15, 0-9) were paced by Kallin Spencer’s 12 points and 7 boards.
Highline took a 36-26 halftime lead behind Harris’ 19 first-half points. Grays Harbor slowly fought its way back in the second half, finally evening the game at 46-46 at the 10:46 mark.  From that point the game was nip-and-tuck, with Grays Harbor taking as much as a four point lead over the next seven minutes until the final push by the T-Birds secured the victory.
While both teams were fairly even in shooting and rebounding, Highline took better care of the ball, committing only nine turnovers to 17 by the visitors. This led to the Thunderbirds having a 19-11 point edge in points off of turnovers, contributing to its final margin of victory.
Highline hosts Green River on Feb. 16, plays at Pierce on Feb. 20, and then hosts South Puget Sound on Feb. 21 in a make-up of the snowed out Feb. 6 game.

David Harris - Highline Men's Basketball
David Harris on the dunk for two of his game high 24 points

Coby Myles - - Highline Men's Basketball .Coby Myles with a key basket in the final two minutes in the win over Grays Harbor.

Women’s Basketball

Bench Sparks Highline to Solid Win Over Grays Harbor

Feb. 13 – Although she didn’t start, Kami Jackson made the most of her 11 minutes on the floor, hitting for 17 points as the Highline bench outscored that of Grays Harbor 29-11, sparking the home T-Birds to a 60-47 win. Jazmina Lafitaga had a sterling floor game with a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds and a team high five assists. Grays Harbor was led by Charleea Armstrong’s 18 points, while Sandin Kidder added 10 points and 8 rebounds.
Trailing by two points at 16-14 after the first quarter, Highline methodically took a four point halftime lead at 30-26 and outscored the visitors 30-21 in the second half.  While Highline hit for only 34% shooting from the field, it held the visitors to only 30%.  The Thunderbirds also temporarily put its free throw shooting woes to rest, hitting 10-11 from the charity stripe.
Highline hosts Green River on Feb. 16, plays at Pierce on Feb. 20, and then hosts South Puget Sound on Feb. 21 in a make-up of the snowed out Feb. 6 game.

 

Kiley Kirk - Highline Women's Basketball
Highline’s Kiley Kirk sneaks behind the Grays Harbor defense for an easy two points.

Jazmina Lafitaga - Highline Women's BasketballJazmina Lafitaga splits the Grays Harbor defense for two of her 14 points.

Women’s Volleyball

A Wonderful Run

Highline Falls to Undefeated Spokane in Finals

A gritty Highline team (34-12) clawed its way into the Championship match against the undefeated and top-ranked Spokane Sasquatch (40-0) before running out of gas and falling 3-0 in straight sets. It was Highline’s seventh match in four days, and the culmination of a sparkling playoff run. After defeating Bellevue and Linn-Benton to open the playoffs, Highline lost to Spokane and moved into the losers’ bracket. The Thunderbirds, playing its best volleyball of the season, promptly won three matches in a row over North Idaho, Edmonds, and Pierce to make the finals. Ironically enough, Highline had lost to each of these higher ranked teams in the regular season, including twice to Pierce. Spokane ended Highline’s championship hopes but the loss did nothing to detract from the team’s inspired and fun playoff run (See the Volleyball season wrap-up and 2018 Volleyball Season in Photos).

Highline Volleyball Year in Photos 2018

Highline takes 2nd place in the 2018 NWAC Volleyball Playoffs.

Highline Soccer: No Repeats this Year

Men and Women Both Fall in Semifinals

Highline’s reign as defending champions, both for the Women’s and Men’s soccer teams, ended after one year as each lost in the 2018 semifinals.  Ironically, these losses were against the same teams that Highline defeated for the championships last year.  The Women’s team, which defeated the Peninsula Pirates 1-0 in the 2017 Championship game, lost to the Pirates in the 2018 by the identical 1-0 score. Peninsula would go on to claim the 2018 NWAC Championship. The Men’s team, which defeated the Whatcom Orcas 1-0 in the 2017 Championship game, fell 2-0 to the Orcas in 2018.  Whatcom would go on to lose the title game to Tacoma.

For the Men’s team

the departing Highline sophomores leave an impressive legacy, going 28-3-4 in the last two years, scoring 107 goals while allowing only 24. They won one NWAC West Division title outright and shared a second division title, and finished each regular season top ranked in the league. And of course, to top it all off, the men won Highline’s fourth championship in 2017.

The team will have a challenge in replacing the dynamic scoring tandem of Ryley Johnson and Jason Rodriguez, along with other key sophomores including forwards Dane Evanger and Alex Velasco, midfielders Noah Runsvold and Axel Mejia, and defenders Dylan Murphy and Tucker Davidson. With 14 freshmen on its current roster, the team returns a solid core on which to reload for another run at the title.

Go to the  Men’s Soccer Page for the Year in Photos and a list of All-Stars.

Highline Men's Soccer Year in Photos 2018Highline’s Alex Weaver returns in goal after a very solid freshman season.

For the Women’s team

the two-year sophomores moving on from Highline can take pride in their numerous accomplishments. Over their two years the team went 34-2-3, scoring 198 goals while allowing only 12. They won two NWAC West Division titles, finishing each regular season top ranked in the league. And of course, to top it all off, they won Highline’s first Women’s Soccer Championship in 2017.

Those graduating and moving on from the team include West Division MVP Jewel Boland, who scored the winning goal in overtime in the 2017 championship match. All-Stars leaving include midfielder McKenzie Buell, defensive stalwarts Valeria Rios and Fiona Dawson, and goalkeeper Savannah Hutchinson.  The team will be returning a core of solid freshman who saw a lot of playing time in 2018 and will be expected to provide the leadership in maintaining Highline’s winning ways.

Go to the Women’s Soccer Page for the Year in Photos and a list of All-Stars.,

Highline Women's Soccer Year in Photos 2018Hannah Shires, with Highline’s first goal against Walla Walla in the playoff quarterfinals, is one of the key freshman returning to Highline next year.

Gearing Up for the Upcoming Seasons

Women’s Softball   /   Men’s Basketball   /   Women’s Basketball  /  Women’s Tennis

Women’s Tennis

Continuing a Strong Start

In its third year as a program under Head Coach Laura Rosa, the Women’s Tennis Team looks to continue its early program successes.  Sophomores Miriam Cabrera and Danielle Mendoza return to lead the 2018/19 s team while five freshman have been added to replace those moving on, including standout sophomores Amila Gogalija, Celeste Andreotti, and Samantha McElwain. Coach Rosa will challenge the freshmen to get up to the college game, with the Thunderbirds having a challenging upcoming schedule, including a trip to California in late March 2019 that includes three matches in four days.

Head Coach Laura Rosa - Highline Women's TennisHead Coach Laura Rosa (right) oversees a practice session at the Boeing Employees Tennis Club.

 

Women’s Softball

Getting Ready

The Highline Women’s Softball team is busy practicing getting ready for the upcoming season. Head Coach Jason Evans welcomes 11 freshman to go with seven returning sophomores for one of the most talented and deep squads in recent team history.  Among the key returning players are  Kiana Kingsley, who led the team in hitting last year with a .350 average, and Hailey Clark, who hit .336 with seven home runs and 36 rbis. The key to the season will be how the freshman dominated pitching staff gets up to speed playing at the college level.

Women's SoftballHead Coach Jason Evans makes a point during practice.