Empire Mizuno 18-1 girls qualify for volleyball nationals

By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The elite Empire Volleyball Club team has qualified for the Girls’ Junior National Championships.

The Empire Mizuno 18-1 volleyball team earned a bid to the 32nd annual tournament set for June 25-July 4 in Atlanta.

Made up of top Sonoma County high school players, the Empire squad is making a third consecutive appearance in the national championships. The team also qualified as 16- and 17-year-olds.

Players include Emily Laskelle, Madelyn Densberger, Elizabeth Meddaugh, Siera Taylor, Jocelyn Grondalski, Aubrey McKinney, Caylie Seitz, Jaclyn Vaishville and Shannon Oga. The head coach is Bear Grassl and his assistant is Michaela Ebben, who also directs the Sonoma State women’s volleyball program.

TOP WOMEN SOCCER PLAYERS COMPETE ON SUNDAY
Top women soccer players meet in a semipro game at Santa Rosa High on Sunday to benefit Santa Rosa youth soccer.

The North Bay Wave and California Storm will play a Women’s Premier Soccer League match.

The Wave is in first place in the league’s Pacific-North standings. Wave players include Ashley Lowery, Kaitlyn LeBaudour and Katie Benz.

The Storm is the defending Pacific North champion. Storm players include longtime U.S. Women’s National Team member Brandi Chastain, former national team member Ali Wagner and Sisi from Brazil.

Kickoff is 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $7 for adults.

Proceeds will benefit the Santa Rosa Youth Soccer League.