by Corey Wiscomb
There is an old saying: Hard work defeats talent when talent fails to work. That’s only the beginning of the journey though for those hard-working athletes who discover the fruits of success from their labor. Next, the athlete realizes that the hard work CREATES talent. And when that truly sinks in and is deeply felt and understood, then it becomes the ultimate inspiration.
The Vikings volleyball team appears to be on the precipice of that discovery. They are a unique group of very positive young women that through the tutelage of Coach Rachel Wilson are beginning to discover just how good they can really be.
Early last week the team traveled to Mount Vernon Christian for a head-to-head match that Orcas has not won in roughly 9 years. This year the Vikings decimated the Hurricanes in 3 straight sets.
And for any fortunate souls who were present (or online) to witness the stunning match against the Darrington Loggers last Thursday, then you witnessed something very special. Orcas is a very young team, mostly sophomores and freshmen with a few upperclassmen as leaders. The match with Darrington was a determiner for which team would lock in a place to advance to the state tournament at the end of the season. Tensions were high, and the nerves showed in the young players as the match began. Orcas fell during the first set fairly handily to a motivated and strong Logger team. The Lady Vikings gathered themselves for the second set, and while coming very close, found themselves down 0-2 in a best of five matches with all the momentum going the wrong way.
Clawing and tearing for every inch, the Vikings won the third set 28-26. Sets are 25 points, but you must win by two. Still against the ropes, the players dug in even harder and fought together in an absolutely dramatic 30-28 win of the fourth set. At this point, it was all tied up and anyone’s match in the fifth and final set.
Both teams dug in and gritted their teeth. All match long Darrington had been skillfully scoring on early sneak hits over the net instead of waiting until the more predictable third contact. With the set tied 9-9 in the fifth set, the Loggers would try the tactic again, but sophomore Bethany Carter saw it coming and met the ball high above the net and slammed it down with complete authority. The play had Orcas fans literally leaping out of their seats in celebration. It was at that point that Orcas completed the win in a dramatic fashion. Emotions ran high as Orcas fans stormed the court to celebrate the team following the victory.
The Vikings cross-country team met Buck Park last Tuesday with Concrete, Coupeville and Mt. Vernon Christian.
“Will Stephens was our highest placed runner. He finished 6th out of the 26 boys who competed, while Ryan Krisch-Derr finished in 11th place,” said coach Mike Kulper. “All five OIHS runners represented Orcas well on a challenging course.”
In Saturday’s King’s Cross Invitational Meet in Shoreline, Ryan Krisch-Derr ran the 3-mile, hilly course in 20:34, finishing 11th out of 70 boys in the JV race, followed by Will Stephens in 14th place in a time of 21:02 and Justin Krisch-Derr in 21:39, good for 21st place.
“All seven runners ran well, with strong finishes. It was yet another beautiful setting on a beautiful day for a cross country meet,” Kulper said.