Union Democrat staff

Some of the Mother Lode’s best high school volleyball players are continuing their careers at Columbia College this season.

Returning for the Claim Jumpers are Sonora’s Makenna Poole and Madison Joplin, Summerville’s Liberty Rimmer, Bret Harte’s Bailey Van Zant and Alayna Williams from the Stockton area.

The Jumpers added three local freshmen, too. Grace Fulkerson, a Summerville grad, Sonora alumni Molly O’Reilly and Bret Harte’s Kenzie Sengle.

Columbia coach Roby Hoyt returns for his sixth year leading the team and has coached the Jumpers to within six wins of the school’s all-time volleyball win record.

The Claim Jumpers have one of the best setters in the Central Valley Conference in Makenna Poole. She was a first team all-Central Valley Conference team member and was third in the MVP voting last year. Alayna Williams was second team all-league last year and is always a threat with her power.

Columbia starts their season at home Friday, Sept. 7 against Mendocino. The game starts at 2 p.m.

League play gets underway WSept. 12 at 6 p.m. against Merced.

Tickets are $5 for all seats.

Season tickets, which include volleyball and basketball, are $50.