For the second time in as many matches, North Kitsap got the best of Sequim — but just barely.
Sequim’s Wolves, hosting the Olympic League tourney for the second time in as many seasons, got nearly all they wanted from their first dip into the postseason; namely, a top-two finish and a bye in the first round of next weekend’s West Central District tournament.
Sequim went 1-1 at the league tourney Saturday, knocking off Port Angeles in four games and jumping ahead of North Kitsap in the championship showdown before falling in five games.
In the opener, Alyse Armstrong had 13 kills and eight assists as Sequim topped Port Angeles 25-15, 18-25, 25-21 and 25-6.
Sequim libero Hannah Hudson had 15 digs and was 21-of-23 serving. Alexas Besand added nine kills and six aces. Sydney Munn led the team with three blocks.
Hudson served eight points in a row in the match-clinching game as Sequim jumped out to a 12-2 lead early and didn’t let up.
“We served very tough against P.A.,” Sequim coach Jennie Webber Heilman said. “Our offense was spread out well and made it difficult for P.A. to block us. We … got on a roll in the fourth (game) and P.A. fell apart.”
In the title game, Emily Wallner led the team with 11 kills and Besand had 10, but the Vikings prevailed behind Briar Perez’s 15 kills and nine blocks.
Hudson had 36 digs and was 11-of-11 serving for Sequim. Wallner had 20 assists and Armstrong added 15. Kate Harker chipped in with nine kills and Kylee Salazar had seven.
“We came out very slow and were not playing well as a team,” Webber Heilman said. “We changed our rotation in the second game and the girls started talking more and playing better defense.”
North Kitsap took game one, 25-11, but Sequim rebounded to take games two (25-22) and three (25-21).
The Vikings took game four, 25-19, and won the tie-breaking fifth game, 15-10.
“North could not get the ball consistently to their better hitters,” Webber Heilman said. “They were in a better rotation at the end of the fifth game. If we could have sided out a little sooner, we would have been in our strong rotation.”
Sequim finished with a season-best 34 blocks, led by Caitlin Stofferahn’s nine and Harker’s eight.
Sequim, North Kitsap, Port Angeles (Olympic League’s No. 3 seed) and Klahowya (No. 4) advance to the West Central District tournament, set for Nov. 8-9 at Franklin Pierce High School in Tacoma.
The top five teams from the 12-team district tourney advance to the state tournament, Nov, 15-16 at Pierce College in Tacoma.
With a first-round bye, Sequim opens the district tourney playing the winner of the Fife/Foster matchup.
A win guarantees Sequim a trip to the state tournament; a loss means the Wolves would need to win two-loser out matches for the fifth and final state berth.