The Sequim Wolves got an early taste of the postseason Monday night, knocking off rival Port Angeles in three games in the teams’ regular season finales.
Sequim’s win secured second place in the Olympic League behind North Kitsap and also set the stage for the league tourney. The Wolves host top four league teams beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2.
Against Port Angeles,
Sequim jumped out to big leads in each of the first two games before withstanding rallies from the Roughriders, who were playing without starter Bailee Jones.
“That’s what we were working on — we try not to let them back in the game,” Sequim coach Jennie Webber Heilman said.
The win helped Sequim bounce back from a five-game loss to Port Angeles on Sept. 26.
“We played a lot harder,” said Sequim’s Alyse Armstrong, “(and) we had better swings.”
Emily Wallner, who spits time with Armstrong at setter in Sequim’s 6-2 format, said this win was particularly sweet. “We’ve been working on stopping runs and consistency,” she said. “This feels so good, especially because we lost to them (earlier in the season).”
North Kitsap, the 2013 Olympic League champ, was in line to host the league tournament but it shifted to the league’s No. 2 team because of a gymnasium scheduling conflict, Webber Heilman said.
The league tourney starts with a loser-out match between Kingston and Klahowya, the No. 4 and 5 seeds, at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 30 at Klahowya. The winner of that match advances to play undefeated North Kitsap at 2 p.m. on Nov. 2 in Sequim while Sequim takes on Port Angeles at 2 p.m. that same day.
Winners play for the top seed while losing teams play for the 3-4 seed at 5 p.m. later that day.
Armstrong said the key to knocking off North Kitsap is to “be excited and play hard.”
All four teams in the double-elimination bracket advance to the district tournament, scheduled for Nov. 8-9 at Franklin Pierce High School in Tacoma. The top five teams at that tournament qualify for the state 2A tournament, slated for Nov. 15-16 at Pierce College in Lakewood.
Sequim tuned up for its season finale with a pair of wins against league foes last week, sweeping Bremerton on the road on Oct. 24 and knocking off visiting Port Townsend on Oct. 22.
Against P.T., Sequim’s serves were working as they tallied 17 aces in a 25-18, 25-10, 25-16 victory.
Caitlin Stofferahn had four aces to pace Sequim in the first game and finished with a team-high 13 kills, a personal best. Hannah Hudson served 12 points in a row — seven of those aces — to start game two.
Hudson was 17-of-17 from the service line and added 21 digs, a team high.
Wallner had 18 assists while Armstrong had 12 assists, eight digs and five kills .