When head coach Brian Parrott approached Molly Knox during her match on Thursday in Phoenix, Ariz., the sophomore captain thought nothing of it. Perhaps he wanted to impart a coaching tip or remind Knox of a scouting strategy that was previously discussed.
When head coach Brian Parrott approached Molly Knox during her match on Thursday in Phoenix, Ariz., the sophomore captain thought nothing of it.
Perhaps he wanted to impart a coaching tip or remind Knox of a scouting strategy that was previously discussed. But when Parrott got Knox’s attention, he surprised the Richland, Wash., native with a different sort of news.
“I was up 4-1 in my second set and coach came and told me that ‘life sometimes throws you curveballs and that our team van had just been stolen,'” Knox said.
Knox said that at the time she didn’t think too much of the missing van. But that was long before the match ended and the players and coaches realized that not only was their rental van gone, but so to were all of their personal belongings that had been left in the van.
Despite the disturbing news, Knox and the Vikings went on to defeat Grand Canyon 6-1. Following their victory at Grand Canyon, the Vikings struggled in their other weekend action and were swept by a strong Arizona team and Big Sky tennis powerhouse Northern Arizona.
The difficult weekend on the court was complicated only further when the van was stolen. Many of the players had valuable belongings—laptops, textbooks, clothes—that were stolen along with the Enterprise 15-passenger van that Parrott had rented for the weekend.
“The police said that they have more vans stolen in Arizona than anywhere else in the country,” said Parrott, who was still sporting a scruffy beard several days after the thief made off with his electric shaver, among other things.
Knox and Parrott both said that they were fortunate enough to have fans and parents of some of the players at the match and were able to get a ride back to the airport to pick up a different van after filling out missing item reports for Phoenix police.
“We really struggled after that,” Parrott said. “But the girls did their best and they had a terrific attitude despite losing some of their most valuable possessions.”
The loss to the Lumberjacks ended the Vikings’ season, just their second since being reinstated and their first under Parrott. Their 5-18 record, including a 1-7 mark in Big Sky action, was one win shy of their total from last year.