Eastern inks 5-10 setter and 5-8 outside hitter during early signing period
Two of the top players from the 4A South Puget Sound League will be joining the Eastern Washington University volleyball team next fall. Chloe Watson from Kent-Meridian High School in Kent, Wash., and Sophie Miller out of Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way have signed national letters of intent to play volleyball at Eastern, announced EWU interim head coach Lisa Westlake.
As members of the same district, Watson and Miller were rivals during high school, but in their club careers, the two have actually played together as teammates for five-straight years. Watson and Miller played two years with the Narrows Volleyball Club, before joining the KJ Volleyball Club for the 2010-11, 2011-12 and current 2012-13 seasons. They have led their teams to the Junior National Championships for four-consecutive years, and were ranked either first or second in the Puget Sound Region from 2009-12.
A 5-8 outside hitter, Watson was recently tabbed as the 2012 SPSL North Most Valuable Player. She is a three-time All-SPSL North First-Team selection, and was also honored on the All-Area Second-Team in 2011.
“Chloe is a dynamic outside hitter,” said Westlake. “We are looking forward to her bringing some depth and power to our outside attack.”
As a junior, Watson led her team to a berth in the 4A Washington State Tournament - the school’s first playoff appearance since 1998. Kent-Meridian earned the bid after defeating Skyview, 3-1, in the Bi-District tournament. The Royals went on to win their first-round matchup in state against perennial power Woodinville. Watson had a team-leading 17 kills in both of the memorable matches.
“We have watched Chloe compete since she was a freshman, and believe she has the ability to come in and make an immediate impact on our team,” added Westlake. “We are losing one of our top outside hitters in senior Cora Kellerman, and while we have a couple returners who will challenge her for it, we expect Chloe to compete for a starting spot next season.”
Miller was a setter for her high school team, but played middle blocker in club. Like Watson, she is a three-time all-league player. Miller was named to the SPSL South Second Team in 2011 and 2012, and was a member of the honorable mention squad as s sophomore in 2010.
“Sophie is coming to Eastern as a setter, but I first watched her as a middle blocker in club and I just loved her tenacity,” said Westlake. “She mentioned to me that she set for her high school team, so I watched some film and suggested she come to our camp. That was the best move we could have made! She has all the tools a setter needs, plus more. She has a good head on her shoulders, she moves well and has a great touch. She is also very coachable and has long arms which make her a good prospect to run a 5-1.”
“As an assistant coach here, my area of concentration was the middle hitters and team blocking, which I enjoyed,” added Westlake. “But I am a setter at heart, so I am thrilled to be able to train and guide Sophie on her quest to be one of the best setters to play at Eastern.”
A four-year letterwinner with the Titans, Miller served as her team captain for two seasons, and was twice selected as the team MVP.