Dawson looking to repeat as 23-6A volleyball champs

DAWSON HS — Dawson head volleyball coach Jason Karim is excited about the upcoming season and righty so.

The Lady Eagles are coming off one of their most successful seasons after capturing the District 23-6A crown with a perfect 12-0 mark while posting an overall mark of 36-10.

But Karim is looking past another district title and visualizing his girls acquiring a region championship that would send his team to a first-ever state volleyball tournament.

"This season has the potential to be special for this team," Karim said. "Anything less than a region championship will be disappointing."

Karim is not afraid to dream big and set high goals since he will welcome six starters back from last year's league champions.

That includes Jordyn Sinnette who shared District 23-6A MVP honors with All-State Player of the Year Brooke Botkin who now exhibits her talent at USC.

Sinnette registered 534 kills to lead the offense last season to go with 35 aces and 273 digs.

"Jordyn is a shorter hitter than Kynnedi (Johnson), but makes up for it with her mental game and her ability to hit different shots," Karim said.

Junior Kynnedi Johnson is a returning starter who was named to the All-District first-team. Johnson was second on the team with 525 kills, 29 aces, and 110 digs.

"Kynnedi is a dynamic athlete who uses her athleticism and vertical to get through the other team's defense," Karim pointed out.

The other player that Karim described as the team's core of strength was first-team All-District Marisabel Torres who had 22 kills, 56 aces and a team-leading 353 digs.

"Marisabel does a great job reading the other teams offense and has a very controlled touch on the ball," Karim said. She makes smart decisions and runs a very unpredictable offense."

Another key player for Dawson this season will be first-team All-District Sarah Kirk who had 36 kills, 318 digs, and a team-leading 878 assists.

"Kirk should anchor the attacks with her setting," Karim said. "Kirk was named the district's 'Outstanding Setter' last season and will be a huge asset to our team in 2017."

Senior Katelynn Tripp, who plays the right side, and sophomore Aliyah McDonald, who plays the middle, are the two returning starters that Karim is counting on to have an outstanding season and be team leaders to the younger players.

Last season, Tripp had 147 kills and 35 digs while McDonald had 54 kills and 20 digs.

Other players that Karim will be depending on this season include senior Amanda Wurster (19 kills, 50 digs), senior Jalynn Finnie (68 kills, 21 digs), Hayleigh Moreno (23 aces, 175 digs), and Aliyah McDonald (54 kills, 20 digs).

Karim leads his team with a quiet confidence and he asks his players to give a maximum effort with the best attitude in everything they do.