Once a rather large speed bump for Sequim on the path to the state volleyball championships, North Mason is no longer the Wolves' biggest concern this fall.
After a pair of Olympic League wins last week against bottom-dwellers Kingston and Klahowya,
Sequim locked up the top 2A seed to the West Central District tournament next week at Franklin Pierce High School, earning a first-round bye.
Despite perennial league champ North Mason's slump in 2009, the playoff picture is hardly perfect for the Wolves, who must battle with Fife, the top Nisqually League team and ranked No. 5 in the state, plus battle-tested Interlake from Seattle, a squad from the 3A KingCo conference, for one of two district berths into the state 2A tourney.
"We've got to work on speeding up our offense," said coach Jennie Webber Heilman, following a three-set win against Kingston on Oct. 22. "That's what we're going to work on this week (in practice)."
Sequim slammed a season-high 22 aces.
Maddy Zbaraschuk led
Sequim with eight kills, Caitlin Pallai added four kills and five aces, Sara Hankins had six aces and Taylor Balkan chipped in with 15 assists in the victory against the one-win Buccaneers in Kingston.
Two days earlier, the Wolves had 13 aces in an easy three-setter against host Klahowya in Silverdale.
Zbaraschuk led Sequim with four kills, three blocks and nine digs in a 25-10, 25-8, 25-13 victory.
Rebekah Kirsch was 16-of-19 on serves with five aces while Pallai had her best serving match of the season, going 7-for-7 with four aces. She added three kills and three digs.
Balkan was 9-of-9 on serves with two aces and added six assists. Hankins led the team with seven assists and was 10-of-12 serving, adding two aces.
Overall, the Wolves were 66-of-74 on serves (89.2 percent).
Sequim was set to finish the regular season at home this week. The Wolves were to play Port Townsend on Oct. 27 - results were unavailable at press time. Sequim closes the regular season by hosting North Mason on Oct. 29.
The Wolves play the winner of the Olympic League No. 3 (likely Kingston) vs. Nisqually League No. 2 (likely Washington) match on Nov. 6 at Franklin Pierce in Tacoma. The winner earns a berth in the district final on Nov. 7; a loss means Sequim would need to win back-to-back games for a state berth.
Interlake plays into the West Central District tourney despite playing in the predominantly 3A KingCo conference. Earlier this season, Sequim won a seesaw, five-set nonleaguer against Interlake (13-25, 25-16, 11-25, 25-23, and 15-12).
Reach Michael Dashiell at email@example.com.