by Portia White
Orcas High School Senior
Following an intense game on April 24, where Vikings soccer defeated Mount Vernon Christian 4-3 in overtime, Orcas headed to Providence Classical Christian on April 27.
August Groeninger led the Vikings with two goals scored and William Garcia, Pedro Banderas and Tommy Anderson-Cleveland had one each. Three of these goals were also scored either directly or indirectly from Tomas Holmes’ long throw-ins. The Vikings took the energy from this victory of 5-2 into their match-up on May 1, at home against La Conner in their senior game. This game started off slow, but the Vikings finished the first half in the lead, 1-0 with a goal by Groeninger. Orcas picked up speed in the second half, with three more goals by Groeninger, and a goal each for Kaj Litch and Leonai van Putten, all while holding La Conner scoreless in a 6-0 victory, keeping their undefeated season alive.
On Monday, May 3, Orcas traveled to Coupeville and on May 5, they will take a trip to Grace Academy in preparation for the League Championship game, which will be held on May 7 at Orcas.
With three games last week, Orcas was in for a fun week of volleyball. On April 27, the Vikings hosted La Conner. Orcas held their own against the undefeated Braves. After La Conner took the first set, Orcas came back swinging and started off the second set with an ace from junior Tayla Malo. The Braves ended with the 0-3 victory.
Concrete came to Orcas on April 28 to take on the Vikings for the third time this year. The Concrete Lions took the first set, but that didn’t get Orcas down. The Vikings came back and took the second set, with the last two points being scored by freshman Bethany Carter with an ace and sophomore Shaye Spinner with a tip right over the net, setting up for an intense five-set match. The third set was another close battle that Orcas pulled away with, ending with a serve by Carter and a hit by senior Lindsey Simpson to finish up the set.
The Lions weren’t ready to give up and took the fourth set, bringing the game to five sets, where the first to 15 wins. Concrete had the lead 12-8 when the Vikings called a timeout, changing the momentum. Orcas came back and finished the day with two points off of freshman Sera Knapp’s serve and a hit by Simpson, bringing the final score of set five to 15-13 and a 3-2 victory to the Vikings.
As a senior, Simpson has seen the development of her team over the past four years and has a message for her coach, Rachel Wilson.
“Thank you for all the time you’ve put in and out of season. From you, I can already see the future potential of this team. I just wish I could have had you six years ago,” she said.
Orcas took the momentum from their win against the Lions to their senior game, and final home match of the season on May 1 against Mount Vernon Christian. Every single set came down to just a few points and the teams went back and forth all night. The first set was won by Orcas with a score of 25-23. Sets two and three were won by the Hurricanes, using the deep corner to their advantage, but Orcas still had a fight left in them.
The Vikings took the first point of set four with a solid hit by Carter, avoiding the attempted block by the Hurricanes. The energy from that first play set the tone for the rest of that match. Orcas came back and took set four, finishing it with a score of 25-23, bringing the game to the fifth set. Like the rest of the game, it was very close all the way up until the end. Orcas took the first point, once again with a spike by senior Darian Johnson. Both teams rallied throughout the night and the Hurricanes took the 15-13 victory in the final set and a 3-2 victory.
After the game, Johnson commented, “Even though we didn’t win and it was our last home game, I still feel like we played really well as a team. That was the best we’ve played all season together, and that feels like a win on its own. I’m really going to miss the girls next year.”
This week, Orcas volleyball will be on the road May 5 at Concrete and May 8 at Coupeville, in their last week of the 2021 season.