Arlington volleyball caps season with 1st-ever state trophy

The Eagles finished 6th in the 3A state tournament over the weekend.

The Arlington High School volleyball team made history over the weekend.

The Eagles placed sixth at the Class 3A state tournament in Yakima on Saturday, claiming the first state trophy in program history.

“We are ecstatic about it and couldn’t be happier with how the season has gone,” Arlington coach Whitney Williams said. “(We’re) really proud of what we accomplished.”

The Eagles, who went unbeaten in conference play to claim the Wesco 3A/2A title, beat Peninsula 3-1 in their state opener Friday.

Arlington then fell in three sets to eventual state champion Mount Spokane in the quarterfinals, which dropped the Eagles into the consolation bracket.

Facing elimination Saturday morning, Arlington rallied from a 26-24 first-set loss to clinch a state trophy with a 3-1 victory over Wesco 3A rival Snohomish. Arianna Bilby and Emily Mekelburg led the Eagles with 20 kills each in the match. Taylor Pederson added 27 assists and three aces.

Arlington then lost to Northwest District champion Ferndale 3-1 in the fifth/sixth-place match.

The Eagles were making just the third state-tournament appearance in program history. Arlington also reached state in 1996 and 2016.

The Eagles bid farewell to three seniors — Bilby, Julia Parra and Reese Talbot — who each played integral roles in the historic season.

“Those three girls have been just incredible leaders for the program as a whole,” Williams said. “They’ve been just great examples of hard work and commitment and dedication, and they’ve put in their blood, sweat and tears to be able to achieve what they’ve achieved.

“They’ve set this incredible precedent for everyone following them afterward, and hopefully we’ll be able to carry on that throughout the years.”

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