By Rongi Yost
Correspondent 

Outlaw will play beach volleyball for Corban University

 

Last updated 3/15/2022 at Noon

Rongi Yost

Sydney Myhre’s versatility makes her a catch for the Corban University beach volleyball program.

Sydney Myhre started playing volleyball when she was in second grade. She is still in love with the sport, and working hard at becoming an even better player.

Kids can’t technically start playing volleyball until third grade, but Myhre got a head start, playing with her older sister Addy on her third-grade team, coached by her parents, Jason and Rachelle Myhre. The team played in Bend against other rec-league teams in the area.

In sixth grade, Myhre played for Sisters Middle School on their sixth-/seventh-grade squad. She was a versatile player — a setter, a passer in the back row, and a right side hitter.

Myhre entered high school and started out as a defensive specialist as a freshman, and then as libero her sophomore year. During her junior and senior years, she played all the way around as a defensive specialist and as a right side hitter.

One advantage Myhre has is being a lefty. When she’s positioned on the right side, it’s much easier for the setter to set the ball to her left hand. Also, as a lefty she has more options for where to hit the ball because of her angle.

Myhre earned honorable mention her sophomore year, was selected second-team all-league her junior year, and in her senior year was a first-team all-league pick and also first-team all-tournament at State.

In addition to playing school ball, Myhre added club volleyball to her schedule, playing for the North Pacific Juniors (NPJ), a National Club team in Bend, in the eighth grade. Her club coach told her she was too small to be a hitter, and so in club ball she played the libero position.

Myhre played for the NPJ her freshman, junior, and senior year. She had surgery during the club season of her sophomore year and was unable to play that summer. The team traveled to four big tournaments every year, including Phoenix, Arizona, Las Vegas, Nevada, Spokane, Washington, and Kansas City, Missouri.

If that wasn’t enough volleyball, Myhre added beach volleyball to her schedule. Myhre started to play beach (on the NPJ beach team) when she was 12 years old and has played ever since. In middle school the team attended lots of local tournaments in Bend and Salem, and also some in Seaside.

During her freshman year, she played for two beach clubs, NPJ and the Oregon Sand Volleyball Club out of Eugene. Teams attended tournaments mostly in California, including Malibu, Huntington Beach, Santa Monica, and Hermosa Beach, and also tournaments all over the Phoenix area.

Myhre said, “While you’re at these tournaments you’re trying to win a bid to go to Nationals. The summer of my junior year I won a bid, as did most of the girls on my team, and we got to play for BVNE (Beach Volleyball National Eve nts) in Pampano Beach in Florida.”

Approximately 80 teams in each division attend Nationals, and Sydney and her partner, who happened to be her younger sister, Gracelyn, placed fourth in the Silver Bracket.

Myhre shared her experience with The Nugget.

“It was crazy,” said Myhre. “It was super humid and hot, but one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. The game play was very eye-opening, to watch girls that play year-round, and it pushed me to try and be better.”

Myhre has always wanted to play beach volleyball at the collegiate level, and while she was playing at a tournament in Salem in June of 2021, Coach Diana Villalpando of Corban University saw her play. After back-and-forth conversations, Myhre let Coach Villalpando know she was interested and sent her clips of game footage.

Villalpando watched Myhre play again at a tournament in Malibu, California, in July of 2021, and afterward called Sydney and invited her to the Corban Campus for a visit. In September, Myhre visited the campus, stayed with players, practiced with the team, and toured the campus. That same day Myhre was offered an athletic scholarship that would cover her tuition, and given until the end of October to make a decision. Myhre waited the entire month before she called Villalpando back and accepted the offer.

Myhre will head to Corban in the fall, start weight training, and also compete in duals against Division 1 teams from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The official season begins in January and competition will start at the end of February.

Myhre told The Nugget why she chose beach volleyball over indoor.

“In beach I’m able to pass, set, and hit, versus indoor — I’m too small and only get to play back row,” she said. “I didn’t like that at all, because hitting and setting is so much fun! In beach I’m guaranteed to touch the ball every single play.”

When asked what she’s most excited about, Myhre grinned and said, “I’m mostly excited to leave home! I’ve lived in Sisters my entire life, so I’m excited to go to a bigger city, attend a bigger school, and meet new people.”

 

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