Peninsula Daily News
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As the West Central District's fifth seed, the Roughriders were given a tough road to a state placing, with both of their opponents going on to place at state.
Port Angeles first faced eventual state finalist Capital and dropped all three sets 25-16, 25-13, 25-13.
“We were right with Capital in the beginning of set one,” Riders coach Christine Halberg said.
“It was tied 9-9. However, Capital had three runs of three and four points each, and we were not able to keep the serve to match their short runs.”
Port Angeles finished with 45 digs against the Cougars and was almost perfect on serves.
“Capital was strong offensively and we had many impressive digs,” Halberg said.
“We served consistently, missing only one in the match, but probably gave up aggressive serves for consistency.
“Capital will be in the top four teams at state and I felt we did pretty well.”
Kendra Harvey led Port Angeles with 14 digs and Maddy Hinrichs had 12.
Holli Williams was 7 for 7 serving and had 16 assists and nine digs.
Bailee Jones also served 7/7 and finished with eight kills, while Emily Johnson was 9/9 serving with one ace and five digs.
The Cougars also swept East Valley of Spokane and then beat Sehome 3-1 to earn a spot in the 2A finals against Burlington-Edison.
Port Angeles won the first set against Squalicum 25-20, but lost the next three (25-16, 25-16, 25-14) to be eliminated from the state tournament.
In that first set, the Riders tied the score at 10-10 after falling behind 9-3.
The Storm jumped ahead again 15-12, but Port Angeles kept it close.
With the score 20-19 for Squalicum, Williams stepped up and served the Riders to a set win.
“In those last five points, [we] earned each point and didn't rely on Squalicum errors,” Halberg said.
“Brittany [Norberg] had a kill, Nizhoni [Wheeler] and Maddy [Hinrichs] had a big block on their tall right side hitter, Maddy had a kill and then Holli finished the set with two aces.”
“Unfortunately, the sets to follow, we were not able to take control of the reins. We got very close at times, but Squalicum played tough with very few errors.
“There were many times, we expected the ball to go out of bounds and Squalicum would bring it back in. There were many long, long rallies that were exciting in which we won some and lost some.
“We started out each set being right with Squalicum, but it seemed we couldn't keep up our consistency enough to take the lead with enough force.”
Williams finished the match serving 16/17 with three aces and 28 digs, 17 assists and a pair of blocks.
Jones had 11 kills and four blocks and served 12/12 with two aces.
Harvey served 8/9 had racked up a team-high 27 digs. Hinrichs had 24 digs, seven kills three blocks and served 8 for 8.
Johnson served 14/14 and contributed two kills and 15 digs, while Sarah Steinman served 10/11 to go along with 13 digs and two kills.
Wheeler, a freshman, led the Riders with nine blocks.
Squalicum defeated East Valley of Yakima to set up a battle with Lynden for seventh and eight place in state.
“I am proud of the girls for their hard work this season and coming together at the end as a complete team to earn their way to state,” Halberg said.
“For some of these girls, it is their third trip to state for volleyball. For PAHS it is their third year out of the last four to qualify for the state tournament.”
The Riders, who finished third in the Olympic League, went 10-6 on the season and 3-1 in the district tournament.