East’s Baker Always There for an Assist

Senior Setter Recently Dished 1,000th Career Assist

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While hitters get the glory, setters often go overlooked on the volleyball court.
Duluth East volleyball coach Danna Anderson says her setter, Alayna Baker, is a prime example.
“She doesn’t get a whole lot of credit for the amount of work that she puts in on the court,” Anderson said. “It’s a pretty thankless position.”
“Setting is one of the hardest positions,” added East senior Alyssa Lauzon. “You have to memorize everybody’s hits, everybody’s rotations.”
Lauzon says she couldn’t imagine being on the court without Baker, who wears jersey number nine for the Greyhounds.
“She pretty much runs this team, we could not play without her,” said Lauzon. “We have backup setters that do an amazing job, but she owns this team.”
“Alyana knows her hitters,” added Anderson. “She’s been a starter for three years, and she knows the girls from the bottom up.”
Meanwhile, Baker is driven by the pursuit of the perfect pass and the feeling she gets when one of her teammates gets a crucial kill.
“Honestly, it feels really good,” she says.
It’s a feeling Baker knows well. The senior recently dished out her 1,000th career assist, putting Baker in an exclusive class in Duluth East history.  Alison Lothenbach (3,692) is the school’s all-time leader.
“It’s like an accomplishment because we work hard at practice every single day to get those plays down to get kills,” said Baker. “But it’s a team effort, it’s not just me.”
“I couldn’t have been more proud as a coach,” added Anderson. “The fact that she could do it in her own gym with her family there, her teammates there to support her, it was amazing.”
Baker is more than the Greyhounds’ setter, she’s also their leader. Though Baker says being a setter and being a leader go hand in hand.
“As a setter, I feel like you really do need to be a leader,” Baker said. “You’re always telling everyone who’s running what plays.”
“Most important is her communication,” said Lauzon. “She always makes sure the hitters know what play we’re doing. She always has everything set up so right.”
With Baker setting things up…
East could be due to snap a 25 year state tournament drought.
“I haven’t been to state,” said Baker. “If we did, that would be sweet.”

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