by Jefferson Freeman
What a season for the Vikings’ volleyball team.
Coming off a season where they lost both of their senior captains it was going to be very necessary for some younger players to step up, and they did just that. The captaincy fell to Bethany Carter and Shaye Spinner. The Vikings fought their way through a tough regular season schedule to go 10-7 overall with a 3-3 record in the league, highlighted by a sweep of the eighth-ranked Mount Vernon Christian Hurricanes in front of a home crowd.
The Vikings got their first playoff opportunity in the bi-district playoffs. Orcas would get the second seed and sweep Concrete before facing 3-seed Darrington in Mount Vernon. The Vikings kept up their play and beat the Loggers in four sets. That meant the district title would come down to Orcas vs. MVC. The two teams split the regular season, but the Hurricanes were ranked higher and the home team. Yet none of those factors seemed to mean anything during their match as the Vikings dominated wire to wire and swept the Hurricanes to bring home a trophy for Orcas volleyball.
The Tri-District tournament would see some similar matchups for the Vikings with them beating Darrington but losing to MVC. The Vikings would beat Crosspoint to clinch a spot in the state playoffs. The Vikings got the 16-seed, MVC would earn the 6-seed and Darrington grabbed one of the last spots with the 19th seed.
Orcas would face Waterville-Mansfield in the first round of the state tournament in Yakima. The Vikings showed up early (both in the morning and the game) and dominated against Waterville, sweeping them into the next round. However, that meant a matchup with uncontested number 1 Oakesdale, who never dropped not only a game but a single set all season. Oakesdale would win 3-0 and continue on to win the state championship.
This Orcas Island team took some tremendous steps forward as they won Bi-Districts and qualified for the state tournament for the first time under head coach Rachel Wilson.
Three team members earned All-League honors. Carter (a junior) made the All-League 1st Team. Milana Schneider (a junior) eared All-League 2nd Team and Ava Ashcraft (a sophomore) received an honorable mention
“All three of these girls have shown their commitment to their team and dedication and heart,” Wilson said. “All three of them began their volleyball journey as freshmen and have worked in and out of seasons to continue to strive to be the best they can be as individuals, teammates, and as players. They all have huge roles on our team. These awards are well deserved.”
Orcas Island and Coupeville were both awarded the Team Sportsmanship Award, the third year in a row for Orcas Island Viking Volleyball.
“The girls have shown great character on and off of the court. This is something we truly pride ourselves in,” Wilson said.