Sequim falls short of state

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Horseshoes, slow dancing and fire extinguishers.

There are times when it pays to be close.

Sequim High's volleyballers came within two sets of a second consecutive class 2A state berth, only to cede the West Central District's second state berth to Washington High School on Saturday evening.

"Even though we finished third and did not make the state tournament in Kennewick, we were playing great volleyball our last two matches," said Sequim coach Jennie Webber Heilman.

Washington's Patriots swept Sequim in three sets in Friday night's opening semifinal round, 25-22, 25-19 and 25-17.

"They had some tough serving and we did not pass well this match," Webber Heilman said. "Our defense needed to get more balls up in the court."

Caitlin Pallai led the offense with seven kills while Keli Haffner added five kills. Kyla Martin chipped in with 12 assists.

The Wolves rebounded Saturday with a three-set win of their own, stopping North Mason 25-15, 25-19 and 25-15 in the consolation semifinals.

Freshman Taylor Balkan came up big, serving 16-of-17 with three aces and had 10 assists. Sierra Clark paced the defense with 18 digs while Martin (five kills) and Lindsey Soha (four kills) added to the attack.

Fife then beat Washington in three sets (25-22, 25-17, 25-10) in the district finals, setting up Saturday evening's Sequim-Washington rematch.

After the Patriots took the first set, 25-16, Sequim tipped Washington 25-22 in set two.

But Washington finished off Sequim 25-18 in set three and 25-22 in the fourth set.

Maddy Zbaraschuk led the offense with 11 kills while Martin was a perfect 17-of-17 serving. Rylleigh Zbaraschuk had 24 digs and Balkan added 17 assists.

"The last game was very close the entire game and they just got a couple key hits at the end to win that game," Webber Heilman said.

It's the fourth time in five seasons Sequim has managed to qualify for districts but fall short of state.

Fife and Washington open the state tourney on Nov. 13 in Kennewick.

Reach Michael Dashiell at

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