When schools and gymnasiums alike shut down for the pandemic in spring 2020, Tyra Schaub would try anything to keep her volleyball skills sharp.
The Skyview hitter couldn’t work on her main weapon — her powerful spike.
Instead, Schaub brought a volleyball to the covered outdoor play area at an elementary school near her home. There, where kids would normally be playing wall ball, she spent hours hitting against the brick barrier and digging the rebound.
Those weeks of defensive drilling helped Schaub become a more versatile and complete player. It’s a big reason she will continue her volleyball career with Gonzaga, becoming the lone NCAA Division-I indoor volleyball signee from Clark County in this year’s senior class.
Though Skyview fell short of the state tournament, Schaub capped a stellar four-year career with Player of the Year honors in the 4A Greater St. Helens League.
For her accomplishments, Schaub is The Columbian’s All-Region volleyball player of the year.
Schaub has spent her high school career looking to branch out. That meant drilling on footwork more apt for the back line as well as at the net.
It also meant learning how to be a better leader.
“It’s really important to be well-rounded, not only in volleyball but in life,” Schaub said. “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
Schaub’s well-rounded skill set led to some impressive showings this season. She had 22 kills, 21 digs in a four-set win over Kelso on Sept. 21, one of 12 games this season where Schaub had double digits in kills and digs.
“She has been a go-to player since her freshman year and grew into that roll so well over her four years,” Skyview coach Shelby Swanson said.
Schaub remembers taking the court as a freshman on varsity, taking her place among 10 seniors.
Four years later, Schaub leaves having made a mark on the Skyview program.
“I’m glad I had the opportunity to push myself and make the bonds we created,” Schaub said. “Over the past four years, this program has grown tremendously.”
Now Schaub is excited for what awaits in her volleyball career. She took her official campus visit to Gonzaga in mid-November, a trip that coincided with her 18th birthday.
“It was unreal,” Schaub said. “The idea of picturing myself there in that uniform, surrounded by those amazing girls and showing them what I’ve got. I’m so excited for the future.”
Rest of the first team
Bella Hadaller, Kelso — Six-foot-1 senior was 3A GSHL Player of the Year, leading Kelso to 7th in 3A state tournament.
Caroline Hansen, Columbia River — Senior setter and vocal leader of 2A state champion Rapids. Had 757 assists and 190 digs.
Emmy Hansen, Camas — Senior was 4A GSHL co-player of the year. Outside hitter led Camas to 5th place in 4A state tournament.
Emily Paul, Ridgefield — Senior defensive specialist had several acrobatic digs for 2A state runners up. Had 287 digs.
Rylie Reeves, Columbia River — The senior was 2A GSHL Player of the Year. Versatile player with 300 kills, 284 digs.
Lauren Dreves, Columbia River — Standout sophomore hitter had 352 kills, Had 236 digs and a 41-percent kill percentage.
Amanda Harper, Mountain View — Senior was the top libero in the 3A GSHL. Had 353 digs with 30 or more in five matches.
Morgan Harter, Ridgefield — Senior setter always in middle of Spudders offense. Had 648 assists along with 129 digs and 33 aces.
Ella Schoene, La Center — Six-foot-2 junior was an all-around force. Had 416 kills, a 44-percent kill percentage and 336 digs.
Emily Vossenkuhl, Ridgefield — Along with Elizabeth Andrew, the senior gave Ridgefield a strong net presence. Had 82 blocks.
Brooke Wirkkala, Castle Rock — Senior outside hitter was Trico League Player of the year and led the Rockets to a district title.