There was no fairy tale ending this time. The recent surge of momentum wasn’t able to carry the Falcons any further. When this one was over, the finality hit everyone hard. Last Tuesday night, the Woodinville Falcons lost 3-1 to Mount Si, and were eliminated from the Kingco 4A Tourney.
Woodinville finished the season with a 4-5 record in conference, and 6-12 overall.
“It was definitely a heartbreaker,” senior Ashleigh Barker said. “All of the girls wanted the game. I’ve been playing with some of these girls for a long time, and knowing that it was the last time we will ever play together is very sad.”
“The bonds here are very, very strong,” senior Elise Wells said. “We gelled really well together. Only four of us had ever played varsity coming into the season. And the progress we made showed just how well we worked together.”
When Mount Si scored the final point to take the match, the Lady Wildcats celebrated on the court. The Woodinville players congregated in the corner of the gym. Falcon coach Andrea “Hammer” Roelen gave an impassioned speech, as tears spilled from the eyes of fourteen players looking back at her.
“It’s an important message to teach girls, that life is going to throw struggles at them,” Roelen said. “Things are going to be tough. They’re going to face challenges. What I try to teach them every day -- through volleyball -- is that it counts to fight! It counts that they grit it out. It counts that they work hard. And if they do that, and put their very best forward and persevere, I’ll take that any day, win or lose.”
Roelen cited 2018 as a season of firsts. It was the first time the Falcons earned a postseason berth in seven seasons. Last week’s win over Redmond was the team’s first playoff win in seven years. And it was the first time in many years that the team won matches in three sets.
Seven seniors will graduate and move on. They are Cate Quilantang, Emma Daoud-Hebert, Danielle Morris, Hailey Smith, Elise Wells, Ashleigh Barker and Colleen Ochs.
“I told the girls that I’m super proud of what they’ve done,” Roelen said. “I’m so proud of how much they fought… I told them it was okay for this one to sting. It’s okay for it to hurt. It means it meant something to you. I told them they need to take that [emotion] and channel it into your next challenge or obstacle.
“That’s where the sweetness of life comes from,” she said.