Central Oregon volleyball teams at state tournaments

Class 5A

Who: No. 1 Summit vs. No. 8 Hood River Valley, quarterfinal

Where: Liberty High School, Hillsboro

When: 1:15 p.m. Friday

Who: No. 3 Bend vs. No. 11 Dallas, quarterfinal

Where: Liberty High School, Hillsboro

When: 3:15 p.m. Friday

Class 4A

Who: No. 1 Sisters vs. No. 8 Crook County, quarterfinal

Where: Forest Grove High School

When: 8 a.m. Friday

Class 2A

Who: No. 1 Culver vs. No. 9 Heppner, quarterfinal

Where: Ridgeview High School, Redmond

When: 8 a.m. Friday

Rosie Honl helped introduce volleyball to her granddaughter using the time-tested method of many parents and grandparents.


“She would come over, and I’d tell her she could have 10 cents if she would pass it 10 times in a row,” Honl recalls. “That’s when she was 4. And then when she got 25 (passes in a row), I figured I’d give her 25 cents. And when she got a hundred, I gave her a dollar.”

Now years later, when Sisters and Crook County high schools square off in volleyball, it is truly a family affair.

Longtime Cowgirls coach Honl is the grandmother of Sisters senior libero Jessie Brigham. Honl also has coached many of the Outlaws’ current players, including Brigham, in the Rimrock ­Volleyball Club.

“It’s like they’re all my grandkids,” says Honl, referring to when Crook County plays Sisters. “They (Sisters players) call be grandma half the time. It’s horrible. When they miss a serve or something you jump up in the air, ‘yay’ for your team, and then they look over at you like you’re disgusting.”

Sisters defeated Crook County in the Class 4A state championship match last season, and the two teams will face each other in the state quarterfinals Friday at Forest Grove High School.

Brigham was introduced to volleyball at an early age by her grandmother when they were neighbors in Prineville. She says defeating Honl’s team for the state title last season was “bittersweet.” Honl has helped coach her in club volleyball since she was 5, even after Brigham’s family moved to Sisters when Jessie was in third grade.

“I think it’s kind of hard, because I know she wants what’s best for me, but I also want her to win … I don’t know,” Brigham says. “I want to win, but like my grandma said, (Sisters would) be the only team she would want to lose to, because she wants me to win, too, you know?”

After spraining an ankle in practice and lacerating a thumb in a pumpkin-carving accident last week, Brigham still does not know if she will be able to play Friday. She says she cut through nerves and an artery and she is in a cast.

Still, the top-seeded Outlaws should be favored over the eighth-seeded Cowgirls, even if Sisters is without its starting libero. The Outlaws are gunning for their third state championship in four years.

“I think we belong in the first-place spot,” Brigham says. “We’re pretty strong all around, and our bench is pretty strong, too. I was out for our play-in game and our backup libero (Sydney Head) played awesome. She had, like, no errors. And I think going into state we have a pretty good chance. We’ve just got to play our game, and we can take it.”

Honl, a PE teacher at Crook County High, has coached Cowgirls volleyball for 21 years — leading the team to eight consecutive state titles from 2006 to 2013 — and she says this will be her final season, though she will continue to coach club volleyball.

“We’ve come a long ways this year,” Honl says of the Cowgirls. “The girls have really, really worked hard, and it’s amazing that … I mean, we have one senior. We were just not very good at the beginning, and they have worked their rears off.”

Honl says Brigham was a big reason why Sisters defeated Crook County in four games for the 4A state title last season.

“My two vice principals came up to me after the game and said, ‘Your granddaughter stole that game from us,’” Honl recalls. “She’s really good, really good. She’s a libero and she does not want anything to hit the ground, ever, and she will sacrifice her body to the utmost.”

Honl calls it “kind of a bummer” to coach against her granddaughter, whether or not she plays in Friday’s quarterfinal match.

“This is my last year, and Jessie’s last year,” Honl says. “I wish she was on my team so bad. But I’m going to coach her in club, so that’ll be fun.”

— Reporter: 541-383-0318,