Haley Doerfler’s competitive volleyball career came to a close Saturday.
Or maybe not.
The Prairie High School graduate concluded her four seasons at Hawaii Pacific University with a bang, recording 12 kills on a .476 hitting percentage, five digs and three blocks as the Sharks beat Hawaii-Hilo 25-22, 28-30, 25-13, 25-21.
HPU won at least 15 matches in each of Doerfler’s four seasons, going 64-40 in that time, but never finished high enough in the Pacific West Conference to garner a place in the NCAA Division II regionals.
“It’s always sad to not reach that next stage in the season, but we always were close,” the 6-foot-1 middle blocker said. “That’s one of the worst feelings: So close, yet so far away.”
Despite that, Doerfler said she had an amazing experience at the Honolulu school.
“I’ve made some of my best friends through the volleyball program,” she said. “I’ve gotten the opportunity to play and perform at a really high level with teammates who I love, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.”
Doerfler led the Sharks — who were the Sea Warriors before the school rebranded its athletics department during the summer — in blocking percentage in each of her four seasons, and in hitting percentage this season for the third time. She is a two-time All-PacWest selection, receiving honorable mention as a sophomore and third team recognition as a junior. This year’s honors have not been announced.
The Sharks went 1-2 on their final mainland road trip early this month to fall out of NCAA contention.
That put a celebratory spin on the final weekend of the season back on Oahu, concluding with the program’s senior night Saturday. Doerfler’s parents were there, as were players from the club team she coaches.
“It was just a lot of fun and really represented that spirit of ohana that is so alive and well in Hawaii,” she said. “It’s been great. It’s been a very different cultural experience from what I grew up in, so that’s been amazing. It’s hard to argue with beaches and beautiful weather.”
Set to graduate in May with a degree in English literature and also looking into options for graduate school, Doerfler has begun going through a recruiting process in hopes of playing professional volleyball overseas.
County trio helps Whitworth to final 16
Whitworth University will play Saturday in the NCAA Division III men’s soccer tournament’s Round of 16, facing Christopher Newport of Virginia in Gambier, Ohio.
The Pirates (17-1-3) won their first two playoff games by shutout.
Whitworth’s roster includes sophomore forward Rylan Berriman (Mountain View High School), freshman defender Kyle Morris (Ridgfield High School) and freshman midfielder Austin Cassity (Camas High School).
Berriman is tied for second on the team with six goals and is third with 16 points.
• Western Washington goalkeeper Ashley Haden was named All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference Second Team. The Hockinson High School graduate led the GNAC in goals-against average and save percentage.
• Whitman College junior midfielder Brianna Brown was named All-Northwest Conference Second Team. The Columbia River High School graduate’s four goals this season were all game-winners.
• The Evergreen State College sophomore forward Vanessa Zamora was named All-Cascade Collegiate Conference Second Team. The Hudson’s Bay High School graduate led the Geoducks in minutes played, scoring four goals.
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