Five graduating seniors from Varsity; Abby Molstre, Nicole Carroll, Kylie Hall, Cecelia Liccardi & Blake Lamberty.
The loss to Monroe (3-2) on Friday, Nov. 4 may have ended Lake Stevens’ chance at state, but for the five graduating seniors on the team, the end of a season doesn’t mean the end of friendships and memories.
These five athletes, Abby Molstre, Cecelia Liccardi, Nicole Carroll, Kylie Hall & Blake Lamberty have been playing volleyball together since the eighth grade at Cavelero Mid High. Between the five of them, there’s a Libero, a Setter, a Middle Blocker, an Outside Hitter and a Right Side Hitter. Who would have thought that this union would create a near complete team on their own?
Sticking together for five years builds bonds on and off the volleyball court, for the players and their coach. Amy Wicklund was their coach in the eighth grade and she finished as their coach on varsity.
When asked what she remembers most about this group of girls coach Wicklund said, “Wow, that makes me tear up a bit, I can’t believe they are seniors! This group of seniors has been an amazing crew; they are the hardest working group I have had. From the eighth grade on, they have talked about winning big in high school and they reached that goal. I’m so proud of them and there is no other group of girls that deserve it more.”
During the off season, most of the five would play club ball to keep developing their skills. Sometimes they would play together for local clubs and eventually they would venture off to play on their own for different clubs. But each summer, they knew open gyms, practice and team camp would begin and they’d be back on the same court.
Winning Wesco North was unanimously the most exciting memory for these seniors. But each of them has some great stories from the years of bus rides, practices, tournaments and matches they’ve spent together.
Nicole Carroll, the libero, didn’t have any specific story, but said, “I know I have formed friendships with each of them that I would have never had if it wasn’t for volleyball and we all like each other, which doesn’t always happen with the seniors that have played together forever.”
Outside Hitter, Cecelia Liccardi said, “it has honestly been the best five years of my life and I don’t know what I’m going to do without these girls! A good memory would be when all of us seniors played in a grass tournament together and won first place.”
Right Side Hitter, Kylie Hall has fond memories of each of her teammates. “Well we all have a great sense of humor and there is never a dull moment. Abby and I love to nag or play pranks on Coach Amy, Celia and Blake have the most awkward handshake and make the best faces and Nicole seems to always have something positive to say.”
Blake Lamberty, Setter, had her most enjoyable moments at the tournaments. “We would spend the entire day together and in-between the matches we would play games and bond. I looked forward to every practice because the team was so fun and got along so well. But my favorite memory was from this year’s team camp at UW. We seniors stole the underclassmen’s mattresses before they returned to their rooms. To earn their mattresses back, the girls had to perform a skit. This joke was played on me as a freshman, so it was fun to carry on the tradition.”
Middle Blocker, Abby Molstre recalled the joking that was a part of her team. “Let’s see...well there was the time Coach Amy got hit with a fruit snack in the head by Kylie. We were at a volleyball tournament this year and we were throwing fruit snacks at each other trying to catch them in our mouths, of course. That’s when Kylie decided to throw one at Amy and it hit her pretty hard in the head! Amy got all mad and asked if someone just threw a rock at her! Kylie then feels bad and says sorry like 10 times and explains it was a fruit snack. So Amy is relieved (a little bit) and then bans fruit snacks for the rest of our season because she doesn’t want to get “fruit-snacked” by one of us ever again. Great memory!”
With great memories and an obvious bond off the court, the team also gelled on the court. Each player knew how the other would set, pass, hit, block or serve. Their stats during the season were proof that they played well together; Cecelia had 267 kills, 5 blocks and 7 aces; Kylie had 92 kills, 7 blocks and 10 aces; Abby had 154 kills , 17 blocks and 11 aces; Blake had 721 assists and 13 aces; and Nicole had 412 digs and 31 aces.
Whatever these girls decide to do after graduation, volleyball will always be a part of them. They’ve shared memories, learned lessons and gained success, but most notably, they were a part of the team who added another plaque to the wall inside the Lake Stevens gym.