Arlington’s Reese Remle (left) attempts a kill with Snohomish’s Kelsey Nichols (center) and Anneke Hanson defending during a match on Wednesday night at Arlington High School. The Eagles won in straight sets. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Arlington’s Reese Remle (left) attempts a kill with Snohomish’s Kelsey Nichols (center) and Anneke Hanson defending during a match on Wednesday night at Arlington High School. The Eagles won in straight sets. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Arlington sweeps Snohomish in Wesco 2A/3A volleyball clash

Emily Mekelburg and the talented Eagles improve to 6-0 in league play with the straight-sets win.

ARLINGTON — If Wednesday’s matchup with Wesco 2A/3A contender Snohomish is any indication, it may very well be a special 2021 season for the Arlington High School volleyball team.

Senior Emily Mekelburg delivered a dominant performance — posting a game-high 18 kills with a .552 hitting percentage — and the Class 3A No. 10 Eagles rarely trailed on their way to a victory in straight sets 25-19, 25-15, 25-16 over the Panthers in a matchup of teams unbeaten in Wesco 2A/3A play.

“I fully expect to see them in districts and probably in state, too,” Arlington senior Taylor Pederson said. “I think we just learned how good we are as a team and how well we can up our game and just not fall down to any other team’s level.”

It was an all-around performance for the Eagles (7-1, 6-0 Wesco 2A/3A). They never let Snohomish score more than four points in a row, six different players combined for 12 aces and three different players posted a hitting percentage of at least .407.

Senior Malia Shepard had 14 kills, Pederson added 19 assists, seven kills and a team-high four aces, and junior Chloe Lewis posted 20 digs.

“Every single person on this team brings something to the court,” Mekelburg said. “So I can’t wait to show everyone what we got. “

Arlington coach Kelly Pederson said her team entered tonight’s game with an emphasis on executing new plays and shoring up its serving and blocking.

“All my players implemented all those things tonight,” she said. “So this was our opportunity to show that we can continue learning because we have learning to do — because we have a state championship to win.”

The Eagles are now one of just three teams in the conference without a loss in league play alongside Stanwood (5-0) and Monroe (2-0).

Snohomish (6-1, 5-1) led 3-2 early in the first set before Arlington scored 10 of the next 11 points. Mekelburg and Taylor Pederson keyed the run. Mekelburg scored six points — five on kills and one on a block — and Taylor Pederson three on consecutive aces. The Eagles’ lead never shrunk below five as they won the set 25-19.

The Panthers grabbed another early lead in the second set at 5-3. But that two-point lead was the biggest Snohomish would hold the entire evening. Arlington rallied again and scored 13 of the next 15 points. Mekelburg delivered six more points on kills and another on an ace during the run. Taylor Pederson sealed the frame with a spike that made it 25-15.

The Eagles raced out to a 17-7 advantage in the third frame before finishing the sweep with a 25-16 set victory.

“There was a little bit of a hole in our block,” Panthers coach Morgan Doyle said. “But they were a really good team, and I think our girls were relentless and they played really hard.”

Junior Liviya Harrison led Snohomish with five kills and 10 digs, and junior Ayla Grant added seven digs, five assists and two kills.

Arlington extended its winning streak against Wesco 3A/2A teams to 27 games, including six in straight sets this season.

“This team is only successful because we have a ton of stars on this team,” Kelly Pederson said. “… We are a whole package, and that’s why we’re winning.”

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