by Aidan Murray, William Ibarra and Corey Wiscomb
Our Orcas Vikings soccer team faced Mount Vernon Christian on Sept. 28.
Coming off a four-game winning streak the team was excited to take on the Hurricanes in a game that would determine the leader in the league standings.
It started off slow with long possessions of passing and MVC attempts to dribble through the Orcas High School defense. This went on for most of the first half until the stalemate was finally broken in the first half when Pedro Guerra found an opportunity for a shot on goal that curved, hit the corner of the post, and found its way into the net. Minutes later, after a penalty shot, MVC tied the game at 1-1 and the teams would go to halftime with the outcome still anyone’s game.
After some clearly defined objectives for the second half were communicated by Coach Terry Turner, the Vikings came out strong and simply outplayed the Hurricanes in the second half. Orcas had considerably more time in possession and was spreading the ball out well before attacking with fast surges and accurate passing. Sam Sutton would pound a shot into the net to give the Vikings a second-half lead. Several minutes later Kevin Ibarra would weave a beautiful shot through defenders and into the upper corner of the net to give Orcas a 3-1 lead from which they would never look back.
The final goal came off a corner kick when the ball found its way to Diego Lago in the right place at the right time. Lago finessed the ball into the net with accuracy for the three-point lead and the Vikings solidified a strong win against a solid team. The victory places the Orcas Vikings at 5-0 and in first place atop the league.
When asked after the game why other teams don’t use our strategy of spacing and passing against us, Coach Turner smiled, “It takes years to learn to play that way. A tremendous amount of practice. It’s a beautiful game. We’ve made it our style, and I think a big part of our success so far is that the kids have been here for the last four years, and now they’re picking up the banner. It’s not new to them, it’s tradition. That was a big win for us.”
Senior Co-Captain Kadence Kraayeveld reflected confidently after the game on the next steps in the season: “We need to stay ready. And keeping our heads up, even if we lose a game. All teams will lose a game eventually. I think we are doing a great job. Our freshmen are playing great. We just need to play our style and pass well. I really believe that if we do that then we can make a run at state this year.”
by Corey Wiscomb
It was a busy week for the Orcas volleyball team with four games in four days.
Two games would be non-league contests against potential postseason opponents, and two were important league games. Orcas opened with a non-league trip to Lopez on Sept. 28. The Vikings handily defeated the Lobos despite missing sophomore Bethany Carter after she dislocated her thumb in a previous match.
Sept. 29 would see the Orcas girls at home facing the perennial league powerhouse La Conner. La Conner has not only won many years of league play but state titles as well. They are the team to beat. Orcas struggled to get into a rhythm against La Conner and fell in three sets. There was another non-league game against Lummi on Sept. 30 in what would be a bit of a sleeper match. While there is potential that the Orcas girls could play Lummi again in the postseason, the Vikings quite easily won the match in three straight sets despite some sloppy play. Coach Rachel Wilson got fired up after the game in an effort to help them see it’s not the experience of the opposing team that should determine the quality of their play — the girls must hold themselves to a standard.
On the following day, the Orcas girls would heed Coach Wilson’s tutelage and bring that accountability up against the rival Friday Harbor Wolverines. The OHS gymnasium was filled with that electric energy that only happens when two hungry teams face each other.
The first set would be a tight battle going down to the wire against the Wolverines, but through standout play by seniors Alecia Talbott and Tayla Malo, the team would maintain their focus and bring home the win. The two players connected at the net on numerous kills in an offensive barrage against the Wolverines that proved to be too much for Friday Harbor. There would also be an emotional moment as Carter returned to the court for the first time since her injury. While playing only a very few minimal minutes, she would get a highlight kill that displayed why her teammates and fans alike enjoy having her on the court.
Orcas would solidly win the second game off consistent defense, digs, passing, and overall play from all team members. Orcas then went on to blow Friday Harbor away in the third set for a defining victory. Sophomore Milana Schneider was quite consistent on digs and passes throughout the match, and key to transitioning to offense. Senior Willow White was a solid server and passer for the Viking offense. Sophomore Sera Knapp was a defining presence at the net, and freshman Ava Ashcroft played very reliably all match long.