A senior moment

Published 10:03 pm Thursday, October 11, 2012

Washington coach Kelly Slade (center) poses with seniors Justyce McKissick (left) and Lacie Anglim after their 3-0 Senior Night victory over West Carteret Thursday at Washington High School. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

The moment the 25th point of the third and final match was scored the celebration began. The tears poured from their eyes and dripped over stretched out smiles as the Washington volleyball players completed their sweep of West Carteret and clinched third place in the Coastal Conference standings.
The next step? The postseason, where the no Pam Pack volleyball team has been since 1997.
For the Pam Pack’s lone seniors Lacie Anglim and Justyce McKissick, this kind of Senior Night was something they would not have even dared to dream about only a few years ago, but on Thursday it was very real.
After compiling two wins throughout the 2009 and ’10 seasons, the Pam Pack turned in a five-win effort in 2011 under first-year coach Kelly Slade, and this year the team spiked its losing ways by finishing the regular season with a 10-4 conference record and earning a trip to the playoffs.
“It’s awesome for me because we went from not being able to win a game at all my freshman year to being able to be in third place and going to the playoffs,” Anglim said. “It means so much and it’s so much fun.”
The Pam Pack topped West Carteret 25-10, 25-11, 26-24 in front an enthusiastic crowd that showed up to support the hometown team.
For Anglim, who is the longest tenured player on the team, the scene was overwhelming and unimaginable.
“It’s crazy. It’s just insane that people are like ‘we’ve heard about you,’ and we’re just like ‘wow’ because I’m not used to anyone talking about the volleyball team,” Anglim said.
For McKissick, a two-year member of the team, Washington’s rise to glory allows her and Anglim to graduate knowing that the program is headed in the right direction.
“It means a lot because it really felt good to make it better and get further,” McKissick said. “It made me feel good knowing that we can leave the regular season knowing that the team can actually win games.”
Though the early days were dark, Anglim refused to step away from the team.
“I never thought of quitting. It was really tough because we went through a lot of things where people were quitting and things were going wrong and there were cliques within the team, but I’ve never been one to quit a team,” Anglim said. “I think when you start something you should finish it.”
On Thursday, the Pam Pack started strong and finished the same way as they blew by the Patriots in the first two games on the strength of some strong serving and net play.
Adriana Tyson dealt a team-high nine aces, while tallying seven kills and three blocks, while Megan Corey smashed a team-high 12 kills.
Anglim led the Pack with 44 assists, while McKissick chipped in five kills and two blocks.
Washington fell behind 18-8 in third game, but after Slade called a timeout to stop the bleeding the Pack rallied with an 18-6 run to complete the sweep.