Lady Eagles planning for success

Arlington junior outside hitter Brooke Johnson digs a ball during a set against Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Sept. 4.   - Lauren Salcedo
Arlington junior outside hitter Brooke Johnson digs a ball during a set against Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Sept. 4.
— image credit: Lauren Salcedo

ARLINGTON — For the Lady Eagles varsity volleyball team, this season should be a year of redemption.

“We won two matches last year in the regular season,” said head coach Chad Palmiter. “Right now, we are focusing on the details and the fundamentals.”

While there is room for improvement in Arlington volleyball for the 2012 season, it promises positive changes under first-year head coach Palmiter.

“We are setting our expectations high so that we’re in the right mindset to succeed,” said Palmiter, who has coached as an assistant in previous years. “When I talk to the athletes, they are really trying to establish that we’ll be able to do it this year.”

The team began practice on Aug. 20 and focused on starting from the bottom up. Their first opponent was Marysville-Pilchuck who they faced at home on Sept. 4. They lost to the non-league opponent, but used the match as a springboard for improvement.

“Our focus has been trying to get together as a team and build camaraderie,” said Palmiter. “We want to feel like we are working together as a solid team.”

This year’s varsity crew has only a few returners from the 2011 fall season.

“We don’t have a lot of returning experience, we have a couple of players with varsity experience,” said Palmiter. “We are working on getting better every practice, every contest and going from there.”

The first several match-ups for the Eagles do not have any play-off implications, as reclassification has changed the line-up of league teams this year.

“We don’t start playing in our league for several weeks,” said Palmiter. “They switched around our league quite a bit and we don’t compete in our league until our last eight games or so.”

Marysville-Pilchuck, a longstanding rival of the Eagles, was reclassified from 4A to 3A when Marysville Getchell High School gained varsity athletic programs. Mount Vernon was bumped to 4A and Stanwood was downsized to 3A.

Despite all the league changes, Arlington still hopes to be competitive.

“I’m really excited about our outside hitters,” said Palmiter. “They are definitely game-time players. Audrey Frolich is a sophomore who was on the team last year and played well. Brooke Johnson is a junior and a really exciting player.”

Overall, the first few weeks in training have filled the team with pride and hope for the season to come.

“I’ve been really impressed and excited with what we are seeing so far,” said Palmiter.

The team is set to face Stanwood High School on Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.


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