Pioneer High School volleyball seniors played huge role in league title

Pioneer High School volleyball seniors played huge role in league title

High school volleyball being played right before the summer caused some issues for the Pioneer High School varsity women’s volleyball team — but not enough to derail their season.

In a way, however, volleyball, along with football and any other fall sport, didn’t have to deal with the layoff last year, as did all of the spring sports. Fall and winter sports got their full seasons completed in 2019-20, while the spring sports only played a few games before being canceled.

This year all sports were clumped into two seasons as set by the California Interscholastic Federation, the governing body that oversees high school sports in California.

But the delay still had other effects on the team. Jobs, competition from other sports, and space practice locations could have derailed a season, but the Patriots remained strong enough to win the Golden Empire League title.

Along with the GEL title, all five of the seniors on the team took home some type of award or plaque.

“We were just blessed to have a season. Quite frankly, we thought we weren’t going to have anything, so to get league contacts in that was awesome for the kids to get back some normalcy to their world,” said Pioneer head volleyball coach Dana Anglin. “My kids worked really hard in practice. Some did club and high school and other sports, so they were pretty resilient.”

Chloe Kershner took home the GEL Most Valuable Player award.

Sisters Cami and Cori Tommarasson earned All-league honors, while the other two seniors were GEL honorable mentions.

“They were stripped of pretty much everything, so it was nice to send them off with something,” Anglin said. “It was nice that they each get a little something to take away with them. It made it really special.”

According to Anglin, League and co-team MVP Kershner played through a back injury for most of her high school career. One look at the awards she had amassed would have you think she was at the top of her game physically.

“She battled to play in the playoffs for us last year when at times, she couldn’t even bend over to pick up the ball,” Angli said. “Her resilience, perseverance, determination, and heart just speak volumes to what a hard worker she is. I’m going to miss that kid.”

Anglin mentions that she had coached Kershner since she first saw her at a volleyball camp “hopping like a bunny rabbit” when Kershner was around 8 years old.

This year, Kershner played as a middle hitter but could be played all over the court.

Kershner is headed to San Diego State University in the fall.

Her laundry list of awards wasn’t just limited to the GEL either. At the end of every season, coach Anglin gives out silly awards, and this year was no different.

Kershner shared the “My Little Chick” award with fellow senior Morgann Winger for their love of the Chick-Fil-A fast food restaurant. The love for the chicken establishment runs so deep with the team that Chick-Fil-A was actually the Patriots’ senior night theme. Seniors and team members dressed up as chickens, cows, fries, a soft drink, with Anglin dressed as an employee.

Winger, who earned an honorable mention award, played on the outside after exclusively playing for Anglin’s club volleyball team on the back row.

Winger stepped up into her new role partly due to low numbers on the team and was elated when she began ripping the ball in practice.

“She definitely got the hang of swinging from the outside, and she was one of our starting outside hitters,” Anglin said. “I really appreciated her ability and flexibility to transition from back row not hitting to becoming a powerful hitter for us.”

Winger is headed to Arizona State University, according to Anglin.

Cori Tommeraason was not on the team last year but stayed in volleyball shape by playing for Anglin’s club team.

“What a treat to get to see her play her senior year,” Anglin said. “To see her thrive and just kill it.”

On top of an all-league honor, Tommeraason was awarded “The Hammer Award” by her coach for her hard-hitting ability.

“She’d get set, and that ball would be put away with authority, and she could put it wherever she wanted with force,” Anglin said. “It was really neat and fun to get to see her thrive.”

Tommeraason is headed to Santa Barbra City College for engineering.

Her twin sister, Cami Tommeraason, also earned an all-league nod after being on the varsity team since her freshman year but unable to crack the rotation until last year.

“Her junior year, she turned it on and did a really nice job going all the way around the court,” Anglin said. “This year, she had to go from playing right side to playing middle because we didn’t have another middle. She tore it up. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her hit harder than she did this year out of the middle.”

Tommeraason, who shared team caption responsibilities with Winger, was also awarded the “Glue that held the team award” due to her level-headed nature and how she treated and communicated with the team’s younger members.

She plans on attending the University of Oregon in the fall.

Madison Lloyd took home the “Ornery Award,” for what Anglin calls her fiery nature on the court.

“She is a little spitfire,” Anglin said. “She would get frustrated, and it would scare the little ones, so I pulled her aside to change up her leadership style, and the rest of the season was awesome. She was just running the show and wanted things to go well.”

Lloyd lined up as a defensive specialist last year. Due to the departing Bella Fuentes, Lloyd took on the starting setter role for the team as the Partiers changed up their attacking system to better suit her style.

“She was a great asset for us because she put up really great sets for our offense and did a great job serving as well,” Anglin said.

Lloyd is off to Ridley College to study plant science.

With the season now in the rearview mirror, Anglin is hopeful for a return to normal circumstances in the fall. While she is set to lose five main members of her team, the cupboard of players is not bare.

“It will be nice for everyone not to have seasons on top of each other,” Anglin said. “We have never finished volleyball before the end of summer, its always done before thanksgiving, so it was stressful and chaotic to have all these things on top of each other. Getting back to the routine of just rolling into the gym and have practice will be nice.

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