Senior outside hitter Anna VanderYacht will head to Western Washington University next year as a member of the Vikings' volleyball team. (Hailey Palmer/Lynden Tribune)

VanderYacht resets career digs, aces records for Lynden volleyball

LYNDEN — Hanging from the walls of Jake Maberry Gymnasium at Lynden High School are banners of the school’s many state championship teams and school records held by the elite athletes to wear a Lions uniform. 

Lynden senior Anna VanderYacht has a hand in both. 

On top of a state championship with the Lions girls basketball team last season, VanderYacht also broke the record for most aces in a season in 2019 with 80 as a member of the volleyball team. Now, she can add her name to the wall two more times. 

With the high school volleyball season now finished, VanderYacht not only walked away with a 2A Northwest Conference title, but with the Lynden volleyball career records for aces and digs. 

VanderYacht broke Jessi Roberts’ record of 152 aces in a career set from 2005-08 with 183 in her four years. She also reset the career digs mark previously set by Rhonda Zandstra from 2002-04 of 670 by racking up 773 since coming in as a freshman in 2017. 

Heading into the season, VanderYacht said she knew she was close to the aces record, but had no idea about the digs one. 

“That was really cool, especially because I really like defense,” she said. “I feel really blessed.”

VanderYacht said it’s amazing she even got the chance at breaking the records given the uncertainty that surrounded a season even happening this year. 

She gave credit to the team for helping put her in a position to accomplish what she did during her time. Placing second in state her freshman and sophomore years and sixth her junior year just shows how good the teams have been that she’s been a part of, VanderYacht said.

“I’m really proud of the records, but also proud of our team the past three years placing at state,” VanderYacht said. “Without the team’s success, it probably wouldn’t have been possible because we wouldn’t have played all those extra games.”

Back when she started high school in 2017, VanderYacht said she never imagined she’d be beating the records on the wall of the gym and adding her name up there.

Looking back on her entire career at Lynden, VanderYacht described the culture instilled by Lions head coach Chris Elsner and the rest of the coaching staff as second to none and a big reason for why she is where she is now.

“That hard work and that character is always going to be with me,” VanderYacht said. "That’s one thing they built on. Your character defines you. Volleyball is just a game, but you should take away more from your character than the volleyball game itself.”

Up next for VanderYacht is her final basketball season later this spring. While the Lions won’t technically be defending their state title with no state playoffs this year, VanderYacht said the team is excited to get back on the court together. 

Following that, VanderYacht will make the short drive south to Bellingham and Western Washington University where she’ll be part of the Western volleyball team.