Volleyball: Sequim falls short of state tourney berth

A third consecutive trip to state wasn’t in the proverbial cards for Sequim this fall.

After an opening win against Steilacoom, the Wolves ran into a pair of strong teams from the South Puget Sound League’s Mountain Division at the West Central District tournament in Tacoma last week, getting bounced from the tournament by Washington on Nov. 4.

Sequim (10-9) shrugged off a sluggish start to rout Steilacoom’s Sentinels in four games (19-25, 25-5, 25-9 and 25-20).

Tayler Breckenridge paced the offense with 23 kills while Brittany Gale had team-highs of 17 assists and 26 digs.

Gale, Isabelle Dennis and Kalli Wiker had five aces each.

“Our serving was excellent the entire match,” Sequim coach Jennie Webber Heilman said, noting the Wolves’ season-high 18 aces and 95 percent mark on serves.

Jayla Julmist added four blocks while Dennis had 20 digs and Wiker added four kills.

Needing a win to secure a state berth, Sequim had a tall order in trying to knock off previously undefeated White River. The Hornets overpowered Sequim in three games, however (25-17, 25-12, 25-15).

“White River was a strong offensive team,” Webber Heilman said. “We played great defense at times during the match (but) our offense was unable to keep up with theirs.”

Breckenridge led the team with 12 kills and Arlene Law added five. Dennis (24 digs) and Breckenridge (22 digs) led the defense and Gale added 11 assists.

Sequim was perfect on serves, going 44-for-44 — “Can’t remember (the) last time that happened in a match,” Webber Heilman said — but White River played solid serve return, as the Wolves only tallied one ace.

White River went on to take third place and moves on to the state 2A tournament.

In the consolation quarterfinal against Washington, Sequim nearly fought off nine game points in the first game but finally succumbed 25-23, then dropped the next two matches to Washington (25-28, 25-15) to be eliminated from the tourney.

Breckenridge (eight kills) and Law (four) led the way on offense.

Wiker had eight aces, seven of them in the first game when Sequim nearly came back from a 24-15 deficit, and added seven assists.

“Washington tipped and passed the ball well, and we could not get our offense going,” Webber Heilman said. “We struggled getting the short tips.”

Washington went on to take the fifth and final state 2A tournament berth from districts.

Olympic League champ North Kitsap swept Fife in the district final; Kingston took fourth.

The class 2A state meet is set for Nov. 10-11 at St. Martin’s University in Lacey.

Last season, Sequim went 3-1 at districts and won one of three at state.

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