This season is about more than wins and losses for Marni Drechsel.
The Cedar Park Christian volleyball coach collapsed during a game on Sept. 24 last year due to sudden cardiac arrest, returning just in time to lead the Eagles to the Class 1A championship game in Yakima.
The Eagles finished third in the Cascade Conference standings with an 11-3 regular-season record, their only losses coming in five sets.
Drechsel said her cardiac arrest, which forced her to quit her job as student services coordinator at the school, was a rallying point for the players.
“It was quite a stressful thing for all the girls,” she said. “They came back and were champs — the best volleyball they’ve ever played.”
Now, with five returning seniors and five state tournament appearances in her six seasons, Drechsel and her band of experienced student athletes are aiming for the top.
“These seniors are used to bringing home hardware from state,” Drechsel said.
Leading the way is two-time defending league MVP Sam Drechsel, back for her senior season under her mother’s tutelage.
The Eagles also return second-team hitter Chloe Biscup and setter Emily McKenzie, both seniors. Tess Biscup, Chloe’s identical twin, and Madysen Trout round out the list of returning seniors.
Albina Melnick and Ana Calabig are returning juniors.
Four players have moved up from the JV squad, including juniors Kaitlin Carlson and Jamie Youtsey. Libero Christy Zeigler and setter Grace Stiger are both sophomores.
The Eagles will have a few holes on varsity, especially as Cedar Park looks to replace first-team libero Rachel Kumai, a senior last fall.
Cedar Park Christian is scheduled to top off the season against Cascade at 6 p.m. on Saturday at home. Cascade Conference play begins on Sept. 13 against Granite Falls, also at home.