Riders take round one

— image credit:
Sequim Gazette

The Port Angeles Roughriders got the jump on Sequim last week in a match-up of two of the top Olympic League teams.


Sequim’s Wolves, however, have the home court advantage next month.


Behind some heavy hitting from senior outside hitter Kiah Jones, the host Roughriders withstood a furious Sequim comeback to take a 3-1 victory on Sept. 15.


Though the meeting paired two league rivals, it’s the Oct. 18 match between the two — in Sequim — that counts toward the league championship.


Thursday’s match had all of the makings of a premier league bout, if only after the first two games. Port Angeles opened up a two-set lead after jumping all over the Wolves 25-13 and 25-18.


“We started really tentative,” Sequim coach Jennie Webber Heilman said.


Sequim rebounded well behind some big hits from Haleigh Harrison to take the third game, 25-19.


It looked as if Sequim was going to force a fifth and final game when it took a 17-9 lead in game four.


Then, it all came apart. Following a Jones kill, Roughrider Emily Drake served 11 consecutive points to put P.A. up 21-17. That 12-point stretch included a run of five Sequim hitting miscues.


“They got a run on us — we couldn’t seem to pass her,” Sequim’s Rylleigh Zbaraschuk said of Drake.

Webber Heilman said the Wolves got stuck in a rotation that had worked earlier in the match but seemed to bury the Wolves in that final game.


Despite kills from Zbaraschuk and Kyla Martin and a pair of Roughrider service errors, P.A. held on for a 25-22 game win and four-game victory.


“Definitely some more work (to do),” Zbaraschuk said. “We’re going to get better.”


Jones finished with 19 kills and four blocks.


Drake wound up with 28 assists, 12 digs and seven aces.


Webber Heilman said she sees plenty of upside to the Wolves, who haven’t played in any tournaments yet and won’t do so until this weekend’s Mark Morris Tourney in Longview.


“We’re getting better every time we play,” Webber Heilman said.



Reach Michael Dashiell at


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