The fourth-year varsity player may not be the loudest person on the court, but make no mistake — Dankenbring was one of the team’s biggest leaders. Dankenbring averaged 6.4 assists per game, totaling 320 for the season. She also had 149 digs in 2014. But even beyond her contributions on the court, her ability to lead by example made her indispensable for the Dragons this season. “Amanda is the silent leader of our team,” Dallas coach Shana Lavier said. “Amanda had a great senior season. She was able to set numerous players and was able to lead us to a fourth-place finish in league.” Dankenbring earned second team all-Mid-Willamette Conference honors.
The senior was one of the Dragons’ most dangerous players on the court. She was involved in numerous facets of the game. Remington had a team-high 234 digs. She was also one of the team’s best servers, recording 29 aces and a serve percentage of 92. But even though she played primarily in the back row, she had 30 kills, helping Dallas reach the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs. Remington was named second-team all-MWC for her efforts during the 2014 season. “Danielle is clearly one of the best liberos in the league,” Lavier said. “Her defense was solid throughout the season.”
Nelson, a senior, played a crucial role for Perrydale this fall. She led the team in kills (175) and serving aces (22). Nelson also added 158 digs. But Nelson wasn’t just one of the team’s best players; she was an emotional leader as well. “(Sarah) is not only a terrific volleyball player, but also a great role model to her peers and to the younger students in school,” Pirates coach Denise Dickey said. “She was the glue that held our team together and she was one of our team captains. She definitely leads by her example both on and off the volleyball court.” Nelson earned first-team all-Tri-River Conference honors for her efforts this season.
The four-year letterwinner was the heart and soul of the Panthers in 2014. Kenyon led the team in kills and blocks as Central competed at the Class 5A level for the first time. But her impact on the team went far beyond her stats. “Julia has been a huge asset to our team,” Central coach Michelle Lewis said. “Julia had some games where she had just as many digs as kills. She has a passion for volleyball and it was fun watching her step up this year and play her heart out.” Kenyon earned second team all-MWC recognition for her efforts this season.
Blair, a junior, proved Dallas has a lot to look forward to next season. She became one of the Dragons’ most consistent players. She had 80 kills to go along with 151 digs during league play. Her ability to play multiple positions made her one of the team’s most versatile weapons. And, after being named second-team all-MWC, Lavier is excited to see just how far Blair can take her game next season. “As a junior, Cambria stepped up to play all the way around for us,” Lavier said. “She brought enthusiasm and consistency to our program this year. She will be a force to be reckoned with next year.”
The junior setter was voted Central’s Most Valuable Player and received the Team Leadership Award after the 2014 season, proving just how much her teammates value her. Nash may have been the team’s lone setter, but she accepted and excelled taking on those responsibilities, becoming one of the Panthers’ most dependable players and leaders, recording a season-high of 38 assists. “It’s so hard to put into words how much pressure must have been on Kylie’s shoulders during the season,” Lewis said. “… As a junior, she shouldered the responsibility and the pressure and came out shining.” Nash was named second-team all-MWC.
In her second year as head coach at Dallas, Lavier appears to be building the Dragons into a regular playoff contender. Competing in a league that saw two teams — Corvallis and Lebanon — face each other in the state quarterfinals, Lavier led the Dragons to a fourth-place finish in the Mid-Willamette Conference. With an 8-6 league record, the squad improved upon its 5-9 mark in 2013 when the team finished fifth. Dallas advanced to the first round of the state playoffs for the second year in a row. Highlights included a 25-17, 25-20, 20-25, 25-23 win over North Eugene in the play-in round and a 4-0 stretch in league play against Silverton, Woodburn, Central and South Albany from Sept. 30-Oct. 8. “The girls are starting to believe and now I need to bump up my level of coaching,” Lavier said.
The 2014 Itemizer-Observer all-region volleyball team was selected by Sports Editor Lukas Eggen, along with heavy input from area coaches.