Arlington spikers hope to build on last year’s success

ARLINGTON — Last year, it took a lot of small steps for the Arlington volleyball team to build up its confidence and earn a fifth-place finish in conference and an appearance in the 4A district tournament.

That team’s seniors had endured several years in the desert, or rather, in the cellar of the Wesco North standings. So the Arlington girls plan to take this season one game at a time as they seek to build on their momentum from last season and find role players to step in for the seven seniors who graduated from the team.

“Our goal this season is to be competitive and to improve each match,” said head coach Cari Britt. “If we can do that we should be right in the mix of things for league.”

The team returns four upperclassmen with a variety of strengths. Seniors Kirstin Wright and Marissa Elgarico are defense specialists, with Wright often donning the reverse colored jersey of the libero. Senior Amanda Bottini brings a strong arm to the outside hitter position while junior Kenzie Jorgenson held down the middle, the team’s tallest player as a sophomore last year at 6-1.

Junior setter Melissa Webb will step in to run the offense after the departure of senior Kelsey Czaban, while sophomore Cassie Van Loo and junior Courtney Van Dyke, listed as middle hitters on last year’s junior varsity roster, will bring some visible height to the team, among other attributes. Seniors Baily Abdo and Karissa Scarth, and junior Kylie Swegle round out this fall’s varsity team.

“We are a young group that is still trying to learn to play together,” said Britt, who added that her team spent the summer keeping their skills sharp playing club volleyball. “If our chemistry comes together we will be a tough team to beat. We will do a lot of team bonding so they will learn to trust and communicate better with each other.”

The girls begin their home schedule against league opponent Stanwood on Sept. 10.

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