It’s been a long time coming, and Alex Thon has finally jumped into her senior season on the volleyball court as captain of the Mercer Island High School squad.
Due to the pandemic, the fall sports season got underway for the Islanders on March 8 against Interlake. Thon, a 5-foot-9 starting outside hitter in her third year on varsity, amassed 25 digs and 10 kills in the five-game loss.
The adrenaline flowed to the hilt during the contest.
“It was nice to have it like normal again, just looking forward to your senior year on the court. Even though we lost, it was still a lot of fun to just be able to play with people I hadn’t seen all year,” said Thon, who played some tournaments with her Sudden Impact club squad before the abbreviated eight-game prep season began.
A major, necessary change for the girls this season is that they are donning masks during competitions. Thon began wearing a mask during her club-team training, so she’s used to the safety protocol. She said players can get out of breath during a long rally, but if needed they can signal the referee and step off the court to pull their masks down for a second.
Communication is key on the volleyball court, and Thon said players have to yell louder under their masks to set up plays.
“I kind of lost my voice towards the end of the game on Monday (March 8), but it’s back now,” she said with a laugh.
Thon, who has been playing volleyball since the fourth grade, has verbally committed to compete at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, as a walk-on next season. She plans to major in business at the NCAA Division II school.
Islander head coach Carmen Vasilatos said that Thon is a clutch performer and strong leader.
“Alex is the type of tenacious athlete that each player hopes to get placed on her team/group when at practice. Not only does she play all-out 100% of the time, but her energy is so contagious that there is a noticeable difference in the effort made by others playing next to her,” she said.
* The Reporter asked Thon a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into her life:
How have you spent your time during COVID?
My mom got her personal training certificate, and so we turned half our garage into a workout area. So I’ve spent a lot of time working out, and then hiking. Then I have my pod of friends that I hang out with, so in the summer we went boating and all that. Trying to get outdoors and staying active.
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
My best friend Kaija (Szylko). We always go out to dinner together and it’s just always an adventure (laughs).
What’s your favorite movie?
What’s your dream vacation spot?
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Never look back, always look forward.
What’s your go-to snack or meal before a game?
Snack would be a protein bar, most likely an RXBAR. I don’t normally eat meals before games, but before a tournament, I’ll eat waffles.
What type of music do you listen to?
I listen to all, but country’s my favorite.
How many texts do you send per day?
Probably only a couple to my parents. But Snapchat texts, probably like 20.
* Extra hits
In the Interlake loss, Mercer Island’s Anna Perry had 29 digs and two aces, Campbell Burr had 42 digs, Kendall Baebler had 15 digs and Leila Obediet had 11 digs.
In a five-game loss to Newport on March 10, Bryn Buist-Haverkamp had 11 digs and three aces, Perry had 16 digs, Burr had 23 digs and Thon had 10 digs.