Vikings volleyball is here to slay

The Lady Vikings volleyball team is poised to play deep into the playoffs.

Coach Rachel Wilson has been pleased with her team’s first few weeks of the season.

“We have a really awesome group of girls and returners — they’ve set the tone for the new players and incoming freshmen,” she said.

The team started off the year with five games in Yakima at the Sundome Volleyball Festival, where more than 80 teams competed. The Vikings played the volleyball state champs from last year as well as other strong squads.

The Lady Vikings are light on varsity players and heavy on junior varsity members so that “everyone gets the training time they need.”

“We really emphasize our values that are the foundation of the team. If we hold those values, everything else will follow,” Wilson said.

The Vikings had what she called a “huge” game against Darrington on Sept. 27.

“We started slowly but then refocused, beating Darrington. They played hard,” Wilson said. “It’s a tricky sport. You can’t really call it. It’s about how the girls show up and show up together. It comes down to how their ability is applied mentally.”

The team played Mount Vernon Christian on Sept. 29, losing in four.

“We lost a bit of composure and played with low energy, but stayed with MVC the entire time, which tells me that if we show up and keep our focus, we can compete with almost anyone,” Wilson said.

The next home game is Oct. 4 at 3:30 p.m. against La Conner.

“They are a powerhouse but we can go into that game like we’ve got nothing to lose. It’s just a different way of coming into the game,” Wilson said. “We really want fans at the game, especially after all of those COVID years.”

Wilson said she is helped immensely by assistant coaches Sada Ashcraft and Hank Date and is supported by all of the players. Wilson has four young children, including an infant, with her husband Ryan, who is the athletic director for the Orcas Island School District.

“Some of my kids come to practice and run around, and it’s such a family environment,” she said.