ARLINGTON — The Lady Eagles volleyball team had a tough time keeping up with Lake Stevens, the current Wesco North 4A leader, in a home game on Oct. 1 that ended in a 3-0 loss for Arlington.
The first set stayed competitive until the end, with Arlington scoring 24 points while Lake Stevens finished with 26. After that, much of the game fell short for Arlington as they struggled to find cohesion as a team. The second set was a 25-15 loss for Arlington and the third a loss with a final score of 25-16.
“The first game was really good, and then it just started to go down from there,” head coach Chad Palmiter told his team after the game.
Part of the struggle was due to a lack of vocalization on the court, which increased as the Lake Stevens players continued to score. On the sidelines Palmiter tried to encourage the team.
“Don’t let her do that! Don’t let her score,” he told them, trying to pump them up. After the game he attributed that to attitude. “For the most part we are pretty good at calling out things, but when it slows that’s mainly an attitude thing. Its about demanding the ball and being more vocal. When they are calling for it, they are showing that they are ready.”
The Eagles fought hard despite facing a leader in their division, with sophomore outside hitter Audrey Frolich coming away with 11 kills.
“We are trying to rally around Audrey, she has really stepped up,” said Palmiter.
Co-captains Manzano and Amanda Hayward did their part to rally the team in the final minutes of the third set, including newcomer Jayla Russ, a 6’ freshman who was recently moved up from JV and proved her skill by finishing the game with seven kills.
At about midway through the season, the Eagles have only one non-league contest victory under their belts, but according to Palmiter, it’s not a lack of skill.
“Honestly it’s just a little bit of inconsistency,” he said. “We know how to get things done right, and they click and they work, but we just can’t get it done every time.”
The team is still training to improve, with each upcoming match offering a new opportunity.
“We are working on our blocking right now and trying to improve that. We made a personnel change and brought up another middle back,” said Palmiter. “I’ve just been focused on getting the team to play better each time. And we are definitely getting better. On an individual level the players keep improving.”
Despite a lack of league victories, the Eagles are not letting the struggle define them.
“The team feels good and we take care of each other,” said Palmiter. “This team is fantastic. They work hard, they challenge each other, they treat each other well.”
Arlington’s current record is 0-2 league and 1-7 overall. They face Snohomish in a home game on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m.