Arlington spikers fall to Marysville

MARYSVILLE — Arlington coach Melissa Thompson had to say hello and goodbye all at once Oct. 27.

The first-year Eagles volleyball coach finished her last game with her four seniors, but also re-entered the M-P gym for the first time since graduating from there in 2003.

"It was a mix of emotions, that's for sure" she said. "It brought back more memories than I thought it would."

The Eagles were swept by the Tomahawks (25-13, 25-19, 25-17) in the final regular season match for both teams.

"They came in pretty developed, skill-wise, but we had to work on our mental toughness," said Thompson of her four seniors. "They were definitely the leaders of the team and they did a great job helping the younger players, which doesn't usually happen."

Alrington's seniors included Claire Gastineau, Melissa Webb, Kylie Swegle and Kenzie Jorgenson.

The M-P match was a microcosm of this season for Arlington, which finished on a 2-12 record. The Eagles showed potential and scrappiness, fighting back from a pair of six-point deficits in the second game to bring it within a point or two before eventually losing 25-15.

"I think we can't be too hard on ourselves," said Thompson. "We showed consistent improvement, which might not have shown up in the win column, but in mechanics and fundamentals."

And Thompson wasn't the only one to see that, as her former coach, M-P's Shelly Johnson, was impressed with her job this season.

"Melissa was a very important part of that team that placed second at state for us and it was very satisfying to see her coaching," said Johnson. "It's not going to be easy for her. She's got to build a program, but she'll get it going. She just has that competitive nature."

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