Outside hitter Rebecca Stella (6) celebrates with teammates between points during a match against Shoreline early in the season. / Jeff Hagglund
50 Cent and R. Kelly were one-two on the charts with In Da Club and Ignition the last time Everett Community College sent a team to the playoffs. The drought has ended.
Coach Robyn Peckol-Filimaua led the Lady Trojans to their first volleyball playoff berth since 2003, the second year of Sue Snow’s tenure as head coach.
It was coach Peckol-Filimaua’s first year as coach, and she instilled a mindset in the team throughout that defined their season.
Nothing characterized their season more than their tiebreaker, winner to the playoffs victory against Edmonds Community College to end their regular season.
The match began with the first two games going to Edmonds. This wasn’t the first time Everett was in this position. It wasn’t even the first time they were in the situation against the same opponent.
Everett hosted Edmonds Oct. 30, and lost the first two games 15-25 and 21-25.
If they lost the third game of the match then all it would have taken to keep Everett out of the playoffs was an Everett loss to Shoreline or an Edmonds victory against Whatcom.
Fortunately for the Trojans, they didn’t lose the next game. They didn’t lose another game in the match.
Early match struggles were a big part of the parallel for their season. In the first eight matches of the season – including tournaments – Everett didn’t win a single game.
They never reached 25 points in a game.
The first win of the season came on the road against Skagit Valley College.
The silver linings turned to silver ore veins as the Trojans celebrated their first victory of the year.
Everett fought their way into the Oct. 30 matchup where the winner only needed to win their next game or the loser to fall in their next game.
Everett won and subsequently fell against Shoreline. Edmonds lost against Everett but beat Whatcom in their next game to set up the tiebreaker matchup between Edmonds and Everett.
Everett fell into the earlymatch deficit once again against Edmonds, but knew the match was far from over. “We have some personalities who really want it,” Coach Peckol-Filimaua said.
When the comeback was nearly complete, sophomore captain Rebecca Stella told her team: “We have the opportunity to take it; we’re not going to get this opportunity again, so we have to seize it, seize the opportunity.”
Everett came back and won the final three games to make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2003. They did it in the only way they knew how: dramatic fashion.
An Everett fan was heard talking to an Edmonds fan during the game and said, “It’s going to happen this way: we’re going to lose the first two and then we’re going to win the next three.” He was very right.
Stella commented on the team’s resolve and how it changed through the season. “If that happened in the beginning of the season I don’t think we would have pulled it off; something changed in us.”
Something definitely changed. After a game-winning kill from Second-Team All-Star Annie Ogle (despite missing several weeks with a knee injury) the team turned into a playoff contender.