It was a shortened campaign for high school volleyball and girls soccer teams, but that didn’t stop local programs from making their marks as standouts this season.
Plenty of traditionally strong programs restamped their places near the top of the food chain while others delivered breakout seasons that showed promise for the future.
Here’s a look at some of the top performers in volleyball and girls soccer this year:
Lake Stevens: The defending Wesco 4A champion Vikings continued their dominance of Snohomish County as they steamrolled through competition in Wesco this season on their way to a perfect 9-0 mark. Lake Stevens, led by a bevy of returners from last season’s Class 4A state runner-up squad, dropped just two sets all year long and closed its campaign with a pair of convincing wins over 2019 3A state qualifiers Snohomish and Arlington. Senior Karli Tri delivered 2.6 kills per set on a .411 hitting percentage, junior Anna Schroedl added 2.6 kills per frame and senior Michelle Fast dished out 11.8 assists per set on the year. In a regular season, the Vikings would have been a favorite to bring home their first-ever state title in volleyball.
Snohomish: The Panthers picked up right where they left as they welcomed first-year head coach Ann McNeil to the team this season. Snohomish rolled off seven straight wins to start the year — dropping only one set along the way — before a loss to Lake Stevens in straight sets derailed its unbeaten season. The Panthers rebounded from that loss and closed the season with a victory in straight sets over Snohomish School District rival Glacier Peak in the first meeting between the teams since 2013. Snohomish (8-1) finished the season as one of two one-loss teams in Wesco and would have been a force to be reckoned with if there was a state tournament this season. Senior Mac Whyte led the Panthers with 5.3 kills and 3.0 digs per set, and senior Sarah Campfield added 2.4 kills and 1.1 blocks per frame.
Arlington: The defending Wesco 3A/2A champion Eagles followed up their breakthrough 2019 campaign with another strong showing this season. Arlington (7-2) dropped only one set in its seven wins and was one of just two teams to win a set against Lake Stevens this season. Like the Panthers, the Eagles didn’t skip a beat while entering the season with a new coach, and they would have been a strong candidate for another state-tournament berth in a normal season. Junior Emily Mekelburg led the Eagles with 3.4 kills per set and senior Taylor Helle provided 4.5 digs per frame.
Best of the rest
Mountlake Terrace: The Hawks soared to a perfect 9-0 record during a truly breakthrough 2021 season. In a shortened year, Mountlake Terrace’s nine victories nearly doubled its win total of five from the past two seasons combined. It’s also the first time the Hawks have had a winning record since 2013. The only thing that could boost Mountlake Terrace’s 2021 resume is a signature victory over one of the teams listed above or below. The Hawks played just three teams with winning records and their opponents combined to go 24-54 on the season.
Glacier Peak: After opening the season with a loss to Lake Stevens, the Grizzlies dropped only one set as they ran off six straight wins, including an impressive victory over Jackson in straight sets. Glacier Peak (6-3) had a chance to stake its claim as one of the area’s top teams with matchups against Arlington and Snohomish to close the season, but the Grizzlies were unable to get much going in those games, losing both in straight sets. Senior Meg Perry led Glacier Peak with 2.2 kills per frame, and senior Kaitlyn Wheeler chipped in 2.3 digs and 1.8 kills per set.
Jackson: The Timberwolves fought their way to a 6-3 record this season while playing one of the toughest schedules of any team in the area. Jackson picked up a signature win in thrilling five-set victory over Arlington on March 11 and was one of just two teams two win a set against Lake Stevens. The Timberwolves three losses came to team’s with a combined record of 23-4. Senior Erin Ingram led Jackson with 4.2 kills per frame and delivered an impressive 29 kills in the win over Arlington.
Jackson: The Timberwolves (6-0-3) finished as one of two unbeaten Wesco squads this season while outscoring opponents 24-5 in their nine games. Jackson posted five shutouts this season, allowed more than one goal in only game and went 4-0-2 against teams with winning records. The Timberwolves picked up a key 3-0 win against 2019 3A state qualifier Snohomish late in the season and earned ties in matchups with 4A state qualifiers Lake Stevens and Glacier Peak.
Glacier Peak: The defending Wesco 4A champion Grizzlies scored multiple goals in seven of nine games and allowed more than one goal only once on their way to 6-1-1 record. Glacier Peak was second in Wesco in goals scored (25) and tied for second in goals allowed (five). The Grizzlies went (3-1-1) against teams with winning records and outscored opponents 21-0 over their final four games. Glacier Peak’s high-powered offense was led by scoring threats junior Chloe Seelhoff, a University of Washington commit who posted 12 goals and seven assists, and senior Abigail Varhese, who scored nine goals and added seven assists. The Grizzlies’ defense benefited from stellar play by senior Maddie Seelhoff, a university of Montana commit, and junior Kate Sprink.
Lake Stevens: The Vikings followed their 2019 4A state tournament appearance up with another stellar season. Lake Stevens (7-1-1) outscored opponents 24-5 and delivered six shutouts in nine games — including an impressive 1-0 victory over Glacier Peak to start the season. The Vikings went 4-0-1 against teams with winning records. Their only loss on the season came in possibly the biggest upset of the year, a 2-1 defeat against Everett (4-5-0) on March 9.
Archbishop Murphy: The Wildcats allowed just four goals on their way to an unbeaten 7-0-1 season. Archbishop Murphy didn’t allow more than one goal in any game and went 4-0-0 against teams with winning records, including a 4-1 victory that handed Shorewood its only loss of the season. The Wildcats paired their strong defense with an offense that scored over three goals per game.
Best of the rest
Snohomish: The defending Wesco 3A/2A champion Panthers started the season red-hot, outscoring opponents 28-5 through six consecutive wins to start the season. But Snohomish (6-3) couldn’t find a way to keep its potent offense going over a challenging three-game stretch to close the season against Jackson, Lake Stevens and Glacier Peak. The Panthers dropped all three games by a combined score of 9-0.
Shorewood: The Thunderbirds posted league bests in goals scored (47) and goal differential (plus-36) as they achieved a 8-1-0 record. Shorewood scored multiple goals in eight of nine games, including a 17-0 win over Mariner on March 3. The Thunderbirds went 2-1 against teams with winning records but fell to Archbishop Murphy in its only chance to earn a true signature victory.