Rest of All-Region team
• Carissa Campbell, Sr., MB, Prairie: First-team all-league selection and all-state tournament pick.
• Brindl Langley, Sr. OH, Camas: 4A GSHL player of the year led Camas to fifth-place finish in state.
• Vanessa Muckerheide, Sr., MB, Union: First-team all-league pick led Titans in kills, aces, hitting.
• Tori Porter, Sr., S, Prairie: First-team all-league selection brilliantly directed offense.
• Brooke Van Sickle, Fr., OH/S, Battle Ground: First-team all-league selection led Tigers in kills.
All-Region second team
• Sophie Kuehl, Sr., Lib., Columbia River: First-team all-league selection set the tone for defense.
• Maddy Savage, Sr., Lib., Union: Defensive standout was first-team all-league pick.
• Kaitlyn Sitton, Sr., RS, Prairie: First-team all-league pick provided huge block for state champs.
• Korrie Stephenson, Sr., MB, Ridgefield: Co-league MVP in 2A GSHL, standout blocker.
• Evi Wilson, Fr., OH, Columbia River: Freshman was first-team all-league pick.
• Abbie Younkin, Sr., S, Camas: First-team all-league pick helped Camas to fifth in state.
State tournament MVP?
A state championship for her team?
Which should leave no doubt as to why Prairie’s Karlee Lubenow is The Columbian’s All-Region player of the year in volleyball. Not that she needed another honor to ensure a lifetime of memories.
“I was writing a college application essay, and I wrote about how this is something I’ll tell my grandchildren about,” the powerful 6-foot senior said of the Falcons’ state title. “I’ll be walking around with a cane and have huge wrinkles from smiling so much telling the story.”
Lubenow — an effective back-row passer and a bazooka of an outside hitter — also has a 4.0 grade-point average. But the most impressive thing about her is that she might well have played her final scholastic volleyball match.
She aspires to major in physical therapy or pre-med in college, and lists the University of Washington as her No. 1 college choice, knowing that you need to be a freak of nature to play volleyball at that level.
“I would have to be taller or have a 20-inch better vertical jump,” she said. “The big thing for me is that sports aren’t forever. I want to choose a school for the right reasons.”
On the other hand, plenty of smaller colleges would welcome Lubenow into their volleyball programs, and that leaves her with some decisions to make in the coming months.
For now, she can reflect on a magical senior season as she plays club ball for her high school coach, Andrea Doerfler, for the Northwest Reign program.
But even a successful club season wouldn’t compare with what Lubenow and the Falcons accomplished this fall.
“There’s something about doing it with the people you grew up with, and there’s pride in doing it for your school,” she said.
• Had 362 kills, 285 digs, and a .340 hitting percentage. Was one of Prairie's defensive leaders in addition to being its primary offensive weapon.
• Led Falcons to 30-5 record, which included a five-set win over Mercer Island followed by a trio of three-set sweeps at the state tournament.
• MVP of Class 3A GSHL; MVP of state tournament.
• Four-year starter for the Falcons, which included a third-place finish at state her freshman year and a fifth-place finish her junior season.
More about Karlee
• Has a 4.0 GPA and plans to major in physical therapy or pre-med in college: "I want to go into a really competitive field."
• Started playing volleyball in a community recreation program about 8 years ago: "Softball was my main sport, but I signed up because volleyball looked like fun. It changed my whole life."
Next year and beyond
• Hasn't decided whether to play volleyball in college. Has received interest from small-college programs, but might choose to attend the University of Washington and not play.
"I'm pretty loud and always laughing, but when I meet somebody I'm pretty shy."
On something that would surprise people who know her