The R.A. Long Volleyball program has a rich history of excellence. During the peak of their success in the 1980s, they qualified for the state tournament every year except 1986. Seven years after the Lumberjills’ first State Volleyball Championship, in November of 1990 under the guidance of first-year R.A. Long Head Coach Jackie Schlecta, the tradition extended into the next decade. The Jills were the 1990 2A State Volleyball Champions.
That 1990 Lumberjill season was off to a slow start. No one anticipated state championship competitors with an early 3-3 record, despite those losses to 3A teams. The turning point came after an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Kelso Lassies across the river. Since that loss, the Jills rallied and did not lose a single league game, and only 2 games in seasonal tournaments. Coach Schlecta and her confident team, led by setter Heather Peterson, hitter Mandy Wean, and defensive specialist Angie McDaniel, with a 19-5 record were heading to Renton High School for the Class 2A Volleyball Tournament.
On a busy Friday, November 9, R. A. Long suffered a first-round loss to Enumclaw 4-15, 15-8, 15-9. The scrappy Jills shook off that loss and went on to defeat Ellensburg 11-15, 15-12, 15-9, and then beat Mount Si 15-11, 15-9, achieving a 2-1 record for day one of the tourney and winning their pool to advance to the state quarterfinals.
The Lumberjills lived up to their reputation as slow starters but strong finishers that 1990 season. R.A. Long opened up their quarterfinal round Saturday with a 15-7, 15-13 loss to Sehome, needing to dig themselves out of a hole. The Jills rebounded over the next two rounds with wins over Chief Sealth and Eastside Catholic, earning a berth into the semi-finals against Mt. Si, a team they defeated during pool play Friday. R.A. Long dropped the Wildcats 15-13, 15-9, making it the Jills’ 4th appearance for the state title over the last 7 years.
During the title match, Sehome posed no threat to the mighty Lumberjills. Sehome had no answer for R.A. Long’s player depth, tough serving, hitting, and defensive play. R.A. Long continued strong play which secured their victory and R.A. Long’s 4th state championship title, with the largest and loudest crowd of any school represented at the tournament behind them. This talented 1990 Championship Volleyball Squad was the first to win the Lumberjill Invite Volleyball Tournament, League Championship, District Championship, and State Championship all in the same season since 1983. The R.A. Long Lumberjills gave the city of Longview bragging rights, so much so, that Mayor Dennis Weber declared December 1990 as R. A. Long Lumberjill Volleyball Appreciation Month.
These women epitomize the R. A. Long Motto, “Pride in a Rich Tradition.” Congratulations 1990 R. A. Long Lumberjills - Girls 1st Place State Volleyball Champions on your state title and your inclusion in the 2020 Class of the R.A. Long High School Hall of Fame Team Inductees.
Head Coach: Jackie Schlecta
Assistant Coaches: Danica (Logan) Barker and Cindy Roxbury
Team Captain: Heather Peterson
Team Members (Seniors): Daphne Betts, Laurie Nouguier, Deanna Piper, Stephanie Trevino, and Mandy Wean
Team Members: Nicole Burckhardt, Angela King, Angie McDaniel, Amanda Riley, Angie Wean, and Wendi Worley