Volleyball: Wolves are league champs

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A preseason favorite to win the Olympic League, Sequim made good on those predictions last week.

The Wolves (7-0 in league, 12-1 overall) blasted Bremerton and Port Townsend in straight sets to sweep two league games and clinch the league title, regardless of the results of their matchup with Port Angeles on Oct. 23.

In the league clincher on Oct. 18 — also Senior Night, the last league home match for graduating Wolves — the four Sequim seniors made the most of the match, topping the Knights 25-10, 25-10 and 25-9.

Katelynne McDaniels had seven kills, Haleigh Harrison had five kills and three blocks, Rylleigh Zbaraschuk added two kills and eight digs, and setter Taylor Balkan had 25 assists.

The four seniors have a combined 15 years of varsity experience, as Balkan, Harrison and Zbaraschuk started as freshmen and McDaniels as a sophomore.
"I've never had three freshmen in the program play all four years," Sequim coach Jennie Webber Heilman said. 

Zbaraschuk was 20-of-22 on serves and McDaniels was 13-of-15 and the Wolves had nine aces against a Knights team that struggled to generate a consistent return game.

Two days earlier, Sequim made quick work of a struggling Port Townsend team, topping the Redskins 25-15, 25-19 and 25-11 behind Harrison's 18 kills and 15 digs, and Balkan's 33 assists. Hannah Hudson and Alexas Besand added five aces each. 

"This is a really special team," Balkan said. "We've done a lot of hard work in practice and team bonding."

The win gives Sequim the top seed in the Olympic League tournament, which they host on Oct. 27. The other likely top seed, Webber Heilman said, is North Kitsap. The tourney replaces subdistrict tournaments Sequim used to play in just before the West Central District tourney.

The district tournament is Nov. 2-3 at Washington and Franklin Pierce high schools in Tacoma, with the top five or six teams advancing to state; WIAA officials haven't determined how many seeds the district will receive.

The class 2A state tournament is set for Nov. 9-10 at Pierce College or Lakes High School in Tacoma. 

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