As September drew to a close, the upper crust of the Kingco Conference had a new inhabitant. The Woodinville Falcons, by virtue of their win over Inglemoor last Thursday, were tied for third place. The Lady Falcons put on an energized performance by beating the Vikings three sets to one (25-16, 25-18, 24-26, 25-22).
How big was the win? This long-struggling program had entered the season having lost 20 of its past 21 conference matches. The Woodinville Weekly had not witnessed a Falcon win in five years. But all that came to a halt last week against Inglemoor. The Lady Falcons showed cohesiveness, energy, confidence and a rapid boost in volleyball IQ.
“It’s very exciting for everybody in the program,” Woodinville’s Colleen File said. “Everyone has put in so much time and effort, players and coaching staff. Everybody has been working so hard. It’s great to see it pay off.”
File was a rock star on this evening with 21 kills, 3 aces and 6 digs. Emma Daoud-Herbet, a recent addition to the team, had 8 kills and 3 blocks. Cate Quilantang produced 9 kills and 9 digs and libero Janett Ramirez added 28 digs.
“We have come together to work as a team and that showed tonight,” Ramirez said.
The win improved Woodinville’s Kingco 4A record to 1-1, and 2-5 overall. Coach Andrea Roelen was all smiles.
“The wins are great and they’re a self-esteem boost and they help us with our confidence,” Roelen said. “But what I keep telling the girls-- and what I want them to really believe-- is that we are learning, we are growing, we are getting to know each other, and that this is a journey. We’re doing this as a marathon and not a sprint. We are trying to get better as a team, day-by-day, match-by match, and that is where I am so proud of them. They are learning, they are feeling what it’s like to feel adversity, to drop [a match], and not give up. And that is the message I want them to embrace, and it’s great to get a win to support that.”
While players like File might get more attention after a big night, Roelen stressed a team-first philosophy.
“Volleyball is so flashy in terms of the big kill, Roelen said. “But there are so many things you can do to make it difficult for an opponent… Every girl on the team is a piece of the puzzle that we’re trying to put together. Everyone has got to fit and do their job. One thing I keep saying is, `what can you do when you’re not near the ball to help your team?’ The girls will look at me like, `what do you mean by that? It’s all about the ball!’
“But it’s not about the ball,” Roelen said. “It’s about what are we doing to support the person who is near the ball to make the team better.
“We’re also doing mental training, a lot of visualization, a lot of affirmation of who we are for tying mind to body. I think that is something new to the girls as well. So we’re trying to train from different aspects to bring together full packages of a person and then create a team.”