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Northwest's Skyler Pierce's bright future earns her volleyball Player of the Year distinction

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Skyler Pierce, No. 21, goes up for a hit in a volleyball match for the Olathe Northwest team. 

If you ask Skyler Pierce, the volleyball season was off to a slow start for the Olathe Northwest High team. Coming out of the gate, the Ravens had lost three games, and things weren’t looking up for the young team. 

Pierce, an outside hitter, said there was difficulty getting connections with the centers on the court. 

“I think we all were … nervous,” she said, “I think we felt just a little out of place.” 

But when it clicked, it clicked. 

In early September, the Ravens defeated the Mill Valley High Jaguars 2-1 on the road, setting in motion a six-match winning streak. It was that momentum that ultimately sailed them through to the state tournament in October, landing them a shared league title and a third-place overall finish at the Kansas state tournament. Northwest was also 5-0 against the other Olathe high schools. 

Among the Olathe high school volleyball coaches that participated in the Reporter’s All-Olathe survey, Pierce was the resounding choice for the Player of the Year distinction. 

“I definitely think I didn’t start off the season how I wanted to performing-wise, but I think I ended up where I wanted to be,” Pierce said. 

Pierce was also named Sunflower League Player of the Year. 

"One of the main challenges my coach had for me was to improve my defense before coming into this season," she said, "and I think that contributed to elevating my all-around game."

On top of her success in school athletics, Pierce is a dominant player in club volleyball on a nationally-ranked team and is on the USA National Team Development Program, which taps young athletes likely to compete on the Olympic level in their respective sports.  

Northwest’s coach Barry Lenth was selected as the Olathe Coach of the Year. 

Olathe Northwest was the only Olathe high school to send a volleyball team to the state tournament in October, but the Ravens aren’t the only team with standout players. The rest of the All-Olathe first team includes: 

  • Jillian Huckabey, sophomore, Olathe Northwest

  • Jaya Johnson, junior, Olathe South 

  • Ava Testrake, sophomore, Olathe West

  • Alex Cummins, senior, Olathe North

  • Emmy Sher, sophomore, Olathe Northwest

  • Kristin Kauffman, senior, Olathe North 

The All-Olathe second team:

  • Lauren Roediger, sophomore, Olathe Northwest

  • Emma Wheeler, junior, Olathe South

  • Sara Allmon, sophomore, Olathe South 

  • Erin Matzke, junior, Olathe North 

  • Chloe Tyrell, sophomore, Olathe East

  • Greta Treff, junior, Olathe West

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