Tomahawks volleyball returns to the court

Tomahawk Shelby DeLappe serves during the first volleyball game of the season at Arlington High School on Sept. 4.  - Lauren Salcedo
Tomahawk Shelby DeLappe serves during the first volleyball game of the season at Arlington High School on Sept. 4.
— image credit: Lauren Salcedo

MARYSVILLE — The season has begun for the varsity volleyball team at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, who have trained for weeks to start off strong.

The first few weeks of training for the Tomahawks was a test in determination. The players spent the first three days in tryouts, followed by two-a-days filled with conditioning practices.

“We’ve started out with basically the fundamentals,” said M-P varsity coach Shelly Johnson. “Then the two-a-days, where we are working pretty hard including a three-hour practice with conditioning with things like running stairs. It’s about just getting in shape for the season.”

After several busy conditioning practices, the team began to work on their strategy.

“We’re at the point now where we are working on our offense, and then doing a little bit of team bonding,” said Johnson, in the second week of practice.

The team started off the season with a non-league contest at Arlington High School on Sept. 4, where they emerged victorious over the Eagles in a 3-1 win.

“With the reclassification, we still have to face some tough 3A schools,” said Johnson, of the change that moved M-P from 4A to 3A. “On the other hand, there are some really tough powerhouse schools that are still 4A. It takes Kamiak, Snohomish and Jackson out of the mix. But we still have to beat Everett and Shorecrest, and it’s been a long time since we faced Meadowdale and they have a really good volleyball program. Overall at the state level it doesn’t matter if they are 3A or 4A, they are all competitive.”

In 2011, the Tomahawks missed an opportunity to compete at the state tournament by only one position. “We ended up fourth in districts and the top three go to state,” said Johnson. This year, they are hoping to take it a little bit further.

“We are really looking to qualify for state. It’s been a while since we had a league championship or  district championship, so that is also a goal,” said Johnson.

The Tomahawks have several talented returning players who are leading the team this year, starting with senior captain Shelby DeLappe, who is impressed by the newcomers as well as the strength of her team.

“We have a lot of young players this year, but that doesn’t mean they are any less talented. It’s just more opportunity for us to grow together and learn as a team,” she said. “I’m excited for the season. We just want to work hard and be a competitive team in the league.”

Newcomers include freshman setter Courtney Fitzmaurice, who is the youngest of three sisters who have set for the Tomahawks over the years, including JV Coach Brittany Fitzmaurice.

“Their family has been around for a long time and they have been big Marysville supporters,” said Johnson.

Overall, the team is planning for a season of success.

“We work hard and do what we need to do,” said DeLappe. “Practice is great and we are getting better every day.”


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