Sequim coach Jennie Webber says her team has the talent to win tight games, but perhaps not the focus - not yet.
The Wolves were put to the test last week against a pair of Kitsap teams - Central on Sept. 29 and North a day later - with similar results. Both Cougar and Viking squads were able to fend off Sequim in opening and closing sets, then exploit the Wolves' inconsistency in the middle.
"We were kind of having problems passing, keeping hits in the court (and) just being inconsistent," Webber said following her team's 25-22, 25-12, 20-25, 27-25 loss to Central. "We're not having that high level of play consistent(ly)."
Natalie Pfaff had 14 kills and 11 digs as the 4A Cougars improved to 4-7.
Maddy Zbaraschuk led the Wolves with nine kills, 19-of-20 serves and three aces. Teyloure Ring had eight kills, 11 digs and was a perfect 13-of-13 on serves. Sequim's Megan Zumbuhl had a team-high 14 digs while Kari Hankins paced the team with 21 assists. The Wolves finished 76-of-82 on serves (92.7-percent).
After a close first set, Central caught Sequim off guard and dominated set No. 2. Playing against Central's reserves, Sequim rebounded in the third set and had a 17-10 lead in the third set before the Cougars roared back.
"In that fourth game, we should have beat them," Webber said. "We seem to have a lot of close games that we lose. We don't push it to the next level."
Part of that simply might be not having a lot of practice time, Webber said; in the span of two weeks, the Wolves had so many games and tourneys they had just two practices.
With little time to recoup, the Wolves fell in three sets to league 3A foe North Kitsap on Sept. 30, 27-25, 25-14 and 25-23.
The third set typified
Sequim's play, Webber said: Up for much of the set, Sequim was on serve at 23-23, then served into the net. Facing match point, the Wolves shanked a pass.
Sarah Baugh led NK with 10 kills, nine assists and five aces.
"We really were a little flat," Webber said of the North Kitsap game. "The hitters weren't having to consider (that) our block was there. Our hitting was very inconsistent. We're just not really being focused."
Zumbuhl had a strong game with a team-high eight kills and added 11 digs on defense. Zbaraschuk led the team with 15 digs and three aces. Brittany Bower had two stuff blocks.
Webber said she's looking for the Wolves to convert a player to libero, a defensive specialist.
"We need some players to step up," she said.
Sequim (3-2 in league, 4-4 overall) was scheduled to play Bremerton Oct. 7 at home - results were unavailable at press time. The Wolves play at Port Angeles Oct. 9 before playing at the Capital City Tournament in Olympia on Oct. 11.
Webber said there should be some solid competition; in Sequim's pool are three 4A powerhouse teams: Bothell, Kentridge and sixth-ranked Olympia, the tourney host. Other tourney teams include North Mason, Central Kitsap, Tumwater, Mark Morris, Wilson, Garfield and Black Hills.