11/23/2016 9:46:00 AM Lady Braves hitter
Watkins earns State honor
Ashley Watkins delivered countless big hits for the La Conner High volleyball team that placed third in State Tournament play at Yakima this month. Because of that, Watkins herself is a big hit with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, which oversees athletics and fine arts programs in the state’s schools. Watkins, a 5’-7” hitter was named WIAA 2B Athlete of the Week for her stellar performance at the recent Yakima tourney. The La Conner High senior placed 97 percent of her serves and was nearly as efficient on serves received, at 96 percent. She also recorded 81 digs, 53 kills, five aces, and three blocks for the Lady Braves, who won three of four State matches. La Conner, which finished the campaign with a 20-2 mark, defeated Toutle Lake, Dayton, and Napavine in tense five-set matches at the Sun Dome. The lone State setback for the Lady Braves was a loss to former 1A net power Kalama. Watkins impressed State tourney-goers with her versatility and intensity. “It’s so cool,” La Conner and Hall of Fame coach Suzanne Marble said of the WIAA’s selection of Watkins as Player of the Week, the latest in a string of post-season honors garnered by the Lady Braves standout and her teammates. Watkins has also been tabbed as the Skagit region’s top volleyball player — across all enrollment classifications — and was voted league Most Valuable Player by La Conner’s NW2B rivals. On that latter score, Watkins had plenty of company in the form of La Conner players chosen for All-League recognition. Watkins was joined on the NW2B Volleyball first unit by La Conner’s Aubrey Swigert, Matty Lagerwey, and Sage Burgmeier. Lady Braves Lindsay Lowry, Justine Benson, and Jayna Whited received All-League second team kudos. “I’m so incredibly proud of this 2016 team,” said Marble. “They worked so hard to get back to State and place third.” In a related note: • The La Conner High girls’ soccer team, which went 14-4 and reached the State quarterfinals, received a host of post-season honors as well. Lady Braves Ashley Carlson, Kyla Crawford, and Sarah Hastings were first team All-League choices. La Conner, under first-year coach Christian Warman, captured the NW2B title with a perfect 12-0 conference record.