Eagles hang tough on Senior Night

ARLINGTON — The Arlington volleyball Eagles don’t quit.

Especially not on Senior Night.

The Eagles fell 3-0 to Marysville-Pilchuck but pitched dramatic comeback rallies in each game.

Outside hitters Vanessa Van Eyk, Lexi Sarver and Cassie Van Loo, middle hitter Alyssa Walker and setter Megan Abdo suited up for their final games.

“I’m going to miss it,” said Van Loo, who notched 11 kills and three blocks on the night. “I’ll miss how much we laughed. 80 to 87 percent of the time — 87.5 percent, if you will — we were laughing.”

Arlington coach Melissa Thompson credited her seniors with creating a team dynamic that the younger players strove to live up to.

“I’ll also miss their sense of humor,” Thompson said.

Van Eyk plans to attend Everett Community College. Walker will attend Western Washington University. Abdo will study at Pacific Lutheran University. Sarver will move on to Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego or Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho. Van Loo will choose between Point Loma Nazarene and Texas Christian University. King has yet to decide but wants to attend an eastern or southern Washington school.

M-P jumped out 13-4 in game 1, including two runs of four straight points, before Thompson called timeout to cut into the Tomahawks’ momentum. Arlington started a 5-3 run to trail 16-10, but M-P’s offense overpowered the Arlington defense whose hitters jumped to block shots but whose backcourt would stand and watch as the ball touched Arlington’s side of the floor for point after easy point. The Eagles came back to within three at 23-20 but the comeback was deflated when Arlington’s return failed to clear the net and fell for the Tomahawk point. Down 24-20, Thompson called timeout to regroup but M-P stuffed the next Eagle return and took the game 25-20.

The Tomahawks mishandled a return and Arlington shanked a serve to the left to start Game 2, 1-1. They battled to a 19-15 M-P lead before Thompson called another timeout.

“Go out and earn every single point,” Thompson said. “Treat every point the same.”

“Earn it,” responded the Eagle squad.

Arlington traded points with the Tomahawks but could not stop the M-P onslaught, dropping game 2, 25-20.

But the Eagles were not about to concede game 3 to the Tomahawks — M-P would have to earn it.

The Eagles led 9-4 before M-P roared back to tie the game at 11 each. The Tomahawks took a 15-11 lead before Arlington called timeout to reset its strategy. The Tomahawks led 22-18 before the Eagles began to peak, scoring three straight points, on the third of which the ball was in the air for what seemed like an eternity, back and forth, until at last it fell for an Eagle point. The crowd exploded and stomped in the bleachers to urge the Arlington comeback. The Tomahawks called timeout.

“I had so many thoughts running through my head on the last point,” Van Loo said of the Eagles’ score than sent the crowd into a frenzy. “It was ridiculous.”

“Fight,” yelled the Eagle players to break the timeout.

Arlington tied the game at 22 but surrendered three straight points, on the last of which an Eagle shot sailed long and out of bounds to seal the game for M-P.

“I’m very impressed and I’m not surprised,” Thompson said of her team’s game 3 rally. “They have a unique chemistry and an ability to fight back.”


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