Laura Eichert (22) and Katelyn Eichert (2) pose for a photo Nov. 2 at Lake Stevens High School. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Laura Eichert (22) and Katelyn Eichert (2) pose for a photo Nov. 2 at Lake Stevens High School. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Lake Stevens volleyball sisters ‘elevating each other’s game’

Katelyn and Laura Eichert are crushing the Vikings’ record books as a lethal setter-hitter combo.

The connection between sisters Katelyn and Laura Eichert stretches back much further than their past two seasons in a Vikings uniform.

The potent setter-hitter combo has helped extend the Lake Stevens High School volleyball program’s recent string of dominant seasons. They’ve set multiple school records along the way. It’s something the two have worked towards for years.

“They’re fun to be around,” Lake Stevens head coach Kyle Hoglund said. “They’re two great, competitive players who really strive hard to be the best they can. … It’s fun to watch them and hear how they appreciate each other, it’s really about them elevating each other’s game by what they can do. It’s a special moment for the both of them as sisters.”

The sisters were key pieces in the Vikings’ 2022 run to the Class 4A title match and second-place finish at the state tournament during their initial season playing together on the high school team.

After taking down Skyline on Tuesday in a winner-to-state 4A bi-district tournament game, Lake Stevens penned its seventh consecutive state berth. The pair gets one last run together at the Yakima Valley SunDome next week.

Each have made their individual marks on the program.

Katelyn Eichert poses for a photo Nov. 2 at Lake Stevens High School. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Katelyn Eichert poses for a photo Nov. 2 at Lake Stevens High School. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Katelyn, now a senior, is in the final stages of her accomplished high school career as the Vikings’ all-time assists leader.

The Division-II Westminster University (Utah) commit has recorded a school-record 2,356 career assists, which is 837 more than second-place on the Vikings’ all-time list.

The 5-foot-8 distributor also set the single-season record for assists last season as a junior, racking up 917 and 203 more than the previous record.

“This being the fourth year with Katelyn and just watching the growth she’s had over the last four years, it’s amazing,” Hoglund said.

Laura, a 6-foot sophomore, has quickly developed a reputation as one of the fiercest outside hitters in the state.

Her hitting power and ability to take over games above the net has led to a more-than-impressive start to her high school career.

Laura already holds Lake Stevens’ single-season records in kills (465) and aces (195). In a district playoff match against Issaquah last week, she broke the all-time kills record and currently has 831 career kills. Last fall, she was named second team all-state.

Laura Eichert poses for a photo Nov. 2 at Lake Stevens High School. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Laura Eichert poses for a photo Nov. 2 at Lake Stevens High School. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

A member of the Junior Volleyball Association all-national team, Laura leads Lake Stevens this fall in multiple categories, compiling team-highs in kills per set (5.4), aces per set (0.9) and hitting percentage (0.321). She currently ranks as the No. 1 player in the state for all classes, according to PrepDig.

The elite production brought by the duo has helped the Vikings maintain their status as a top squad in 4A this season.

Lake Stevens (15-4, 8-0) has won 12 of its past 13 games and enters the bi-district championship game Saturday against North Creek. Some of the sisters’ best performances have come during that stretch.

On Oct. 12, Laura slammed down a season-high 32 kills in a sweep over Jackson. On the same night, Katelyn supplied 43 assists, also a season-best mark.

The two always envisioned the deadly combination they could end up being on the floor together, and the reality started to pick up steam once Katelyn became a freshman.

“The first years Katelyn was playing for Lake Stevens I came to almost every single game,” Laura said. “I wanted to be that hitter that she was setting up and I wanted her to be my setter.”

Lake Stevens’ Laura Eichert records a kill against Glacier Peak on Oct. 10 in Snohomish. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Lake Stevens’ Laura Eichert records a kill against Glacier Peak on Oct. 10 in Snohomish. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

During Katelyn’s freshman year, when Laura was still in junior high, the two started playing on the same club team after being in separate programs in past years.

“We weren’t the greatest at first,” Laura said. “But when we started playing on the same teams together, that’s when we started getting really good and it was almost like joining our forces. … We could help each other get a lot better.”

Vikings standout senior libero Alyss Kelly, a Kansas State University commit, has had a front row seat in watching Laura and Katelyn’s offensive prowess over the last two seasons.

“It’s amazing,” Kelly said. “… I know I can always put my trust into Laura and Katelyn to both run the offense. Just knowing that if the ball goes to Laura, she’s going to do something with it. Either it’s going to get them out of system or she’s gonna put the ball down.”

Katelyn, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was in second grade, said one of her main goals is to be an example for other young athletes looking to overcome all types of struggle.

“I believe that if you set your mind to something and you stay diligent on that, I think you can really push though anything,” Katelyn said. “Whether you have a medical condition or even if you are just starting a sport late. I hope to be a mentor for all girls who are coming up in this program and show them what it takes to be a great volleyball player and play at a high level.”

Lake Stevens’ Katelyn Eichert dives to save the ball against Glacier Peak on Oct. 10 in Snohomish. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Lake Stevens’ Katelyn Eichert dives to save the ball against Glacier Peak on Oct. 10 in Snohomish. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Laura and Katelyn’s mother, Lynne Eichert, an assistant coach at Lake Stevens, also had standout prep and college volleyball career. She’s a University of Idaho Hall of Fame member and the Vandals’ all-time assists leader. For Lynne, seeing her daughters grow as players over time has been a unique experience.

“It’s all gone incredibly fast,” Lynne said. “For me, its just seeing the progression of my daughters playing together. Their personalities couldn’t be more different in terms of what they show on the court.

“Katelyn’s full of joy, life and positivity. She’s the constant encourager and supporter, the whisper-in-your-ear ‘good job’ type of of kid. They are both equally as competitive and they both have the same great work ethic, but Laura’s just a bit more intense on the court. … I feel like we’ve arrived at this beautiful place of them being each other’s biggest support and biggest cheerleader.”

Lynne said that despite any hobbies her daughters picked up in the past, it always came back to volleyball.

“I always wanted my girls to be involved in something like that, it didn’t have to be volleyball,” she said. “Just something that they love doing. …

“Somehow, they both floated back to volleyball. And once they figured out they were good at it, and that I could help them a little bit with it, it was just really fun and rewarding. It’s all about them now.”

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