The Newport volleyball season came to an end with a 3-0 loss to the Issaquah Eagles in a loser-out 4A Wes-King district tournament game on Nov. 12, but there were plenty of positives for the Knights this season.
The Knights took a big step forward this year, going from two wins last season, to nine this year. Newport head coach Zeke Hsu said the team exceeded expectations by making it to the KingCo tournament and districts.
“I’m just happy for this team,” Hsu said. “They work as a unit and they continue to push each other to be great. That’s what I remember the most, this greatness that they’re bringing in as a team.”
The Knights kept it close in the first set of their district tournament match against the Eagles, ultimately falling 25-23. The Eagles ran away with the second and third sets (25-17, 25-18) to sweep the match.
By making the district tournament for the first time in four years, Hsu said the younger players can bring this experience into next year.
“This is definitely a big, important step for us to continue on next year and the year after,” Hsu said. “Now that the younger players know what this is about, they have a taste for it. We’re aiming to come back next year and continue to try.”
Another reason to be excited for the future of Newport volleyball is freshman outside hitter Arden Carnrite, a second-team all-league selection.
“(Carnrite) is a special player,” Hsu said. “As a freshman, she came in and provided that stability for our team and is somebody we grew to depend on.”
In her first season on the team, Carnrite was one of the key pieces for the Newport offense. Carnrite said one of the best pieces of advice she has received from her teammates was that, “It doesn’t matter if the ball goes in, as long as you hit it hard.”
Carnrite said that in a postseason game against a tough opponent, the most important thing is that they played their hardest.
“We fought really hard this season,” Carnrite said. “We earned it and we played our hearts out.”
Carnrite said the season was a culmination of a lot of hard work that resulted in the Knights making it as far as they did.
“We’re excited for next year,” Carnrite said. “We’re excited for who’s going to come in and how we’re going to try and make it to districts again.”