Girls basketball and soccer have been on the rise at Sequim High School in the past four years, and much of the success those programs enjoyed have been due in part to two SHS seniors: Hope Glasser and Jessica Dietzman.
Both girls stood out athletically for their teams from the jump. Glasser and Dietzman have enjoyed significant individual successes, but also helped to drive team triumphs: SHS’s girls soccer team earned their first two ever state playoff berths and won the West Central District 3 title in 2018, while a season ago the girls basketball team earned their fourth state playoff berth in school history in dramatic fashion and were tied atop the league standings this season heading into a key match-up with rival Port Angeles last week.
Glasser, the daughter of longtime SHS boys basketball coach Greg Glasser, has played on local select teams in both basketball and soccer before she got to high school.
“It was always kind of surreal (joining the SHS basketball team) because I’d watched them growing up,” Glasser said. “Going from that select sports atmosphere to stepping up into high school sports was such a transition, but I always wanted to contribute and help the team win.”
Glasser credits that attitude that she and other select sports teammates — like Dietzman, Jayla Julmist and Kalli Wiker — helped propel their teams to greater successes than they had seen in the years before their arrival.
Dietzman agreed, saying that she “came into high school with the mindset that I wanted to leave whatever sport (I played) better than what I came.”
“I love that feeling of a win after a good game,” Glasser said. “I’m motivated by that kind of success.”
As a sophomore Glasser earned all-Olympic League second team honors in basketball after averaging a double-double with a team-high 10.1 points per game and 12.6 rebounds.
She upper her game as a junior last season, earning first team honors after leading the team with 12.5 points per game and adding 8.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per contest.
Dietzman, her complimentary backcourt teammate, has led the team in assists each of the past two seasons, with 4.4 per game as a sophomore in 2017-2018 and 3.4 as a junior last season to go with her 7.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.
Transitions to help
Glasser also noted that it’s a “difficult transition” to go from one sport to the other in the fall once the soccer season ends, especially these last two years when the soccer team has made state.
“We had our state playoff game, and I think it was maybe three days later we had basketball tryouts,” she said. “That’s a lot to change mentally and get ready for physically, because they’re very different games.”
Both Glasser and Dietzman haven’t been afraid to move around the field and the court to best help the team. Glasser was actually a defender in soccer before getting to high school, but the team’s need at the time and her athletic gifts made then-first-year head coach Derek Vander Velde to use her in attack.
“That was a big move for me,” Glasser said. “That was a lot of adapting and learning to play up there, but I enjoyed it and it did so well for the team.”
The move paid off as Glasser earned all-league first team honors in 2019, tying for the team lead in goals scored (eight).
Dietzman has made several moves of her own, though in the other direction — where Glasser moved up the field, Dietzman started out as a forward, scoring a team-high seven goals as a sophomore in 2017.
She then moved to attacking midfield, then spent her senior year serving mostly as a workhorse linking midfielder, swinging back and forth up and down the pitch playing both defensive and attacking roles as needed and helping set the tempo of a match.
“(It’s about) whatever coaches need and whatever they believe is right for the team,” Dietzman said. “Coming in as a freshman I saw sports more as individual ability, but now as I’ve grown I see it’s all about the team’s growth and how we work together.
“Moving from striker to midfield was a struggle in the beginning, but in the end I actually loved midfield way more and felt so much stronger in it.”
On the basketball court, Glasser and Dietzman both ostensibly play as a post player and a point guard, respectively, but when you actually watch them in-game you’ll notice that they change roles constantly. There will be times that both operate on the wings with another teammate running the point, or with Glasser running the point and Dietzman looking to penetrate inside. That versatility — alongside their skilled teammates
helped make the Wolves a difficult opponent to predict.
In both sports, Glasser and Dietzman have drawn praise from their coaches for their leadership and their willingness to do what it takes to help the team. Vander Valde has referred to them as the engine that makes his soccer team tick, and SHS girls basketball coach Linsay Rapelje has repeatedly praised them as a major driving force for the basketball squad.
Fever pitch success
In the 2015 girls soccer season — the year before Glasser and Dietzman arrived at SHS — the Wolves finished just 1-10 in Olympic League play, second to last in the league. Those were not atypical of the few years before that, and the girls soccer team had never made the state playoffs in school history.
Then Glasser and Dietzman joined a team now led by Vander Velde, and with a new coach and a ton of talented freshmen, including Daisy Ryan, Gabby Happe, Kristina Mingoy and others, they Wolves immediately started seeing more success. The finished 7-5 in the Olympic League in 2016, good for third place and a district playoff berth.
They’d stumble a bit in 2017 with a 6-6 league record, but in 2018 the Glasser and Dietzman lead team really hit its stride.
While the team started with a 1-7-1 record, they finished strong and earned a 10-9-1 overall mark and scraped together a fourth-place finish in the Olympic League and district playoff berth.
That led to a dramatic playoff run, where the Wolves beat Highline and White River to make the West Central District 3 playoff finals, ultimately besting North Kitsap on the strength of a header from Glasser — a moment she called one of her favorites from her high school career.
“Being part of an amazing soccer team that (became) district champions and went to state just made all the hard work and grit worthwhile,” Dietzman said.
The SHS girls basketball team only went a combined 9-15 in league play (16-26 overall) in Glasser and Dietzman’s first two years under former head coach Larry Brown, with one trip to the district tournament and an 0-2 record there in their freshman year.
When Rapelje took over after Brown’s abrupt resignation two games into the 2018-2019 season, however, Glasser and Dietzman — both left-handed players — helped lead the team to an 8-4 Olympic League record, good for third place in the league.
The Wolves went 3-1 in the district tournament, beating Lindbergh, Eatonville and Kingston to qualify for the regional round that leads into the 2A state tournament for just the fourth time in school history, and the first since 2007.
In the regional round, the Wolves went up against 2A giants Foster and were down 18 points in the third quarter before going on a 28-0 run through the end the game to earn a dramatic 54-44 win.
“That was such an incredible moment,” Glasser said of when the buzzer sounded at the end of the Foster game. “It’s something I’m always going to remember.”
The Wolves would lose in the first round of the state tournament to Port Angeles, but that didn’t spoil the magic of the season for Glasser, Dietzman and their teammates — and actually helped to spark them to a 5-0 start to their Olympic League season in the 2019-20 campaign, good for second place in the league so far.
Dietzman has also enjoyed springtime success, winning the 2A state doubles tennis title alongside Wiker in 2019 after placing second in 2018. The pair went 22-0 last season and are 40-1 as doubles partners overall.
“Winning (that title) was simply the best, and Kalli and I will definitely be sticking together (as a doubles team) for my last year,” Dietzman said.
“It was an astounding run last year and we both want to keep working and play again next year.”
Glasser, meanwhile, took her athletic talents to the track and field world for her junior spring season, earning a West Central District berth in both the discus and javelin in 2019.
Looking to the future
Given that it’s their senior year, Glasser and Dietzman have a lot of planning to do for their futures and figuring out what’s next for their athletic careers.
While she grew up wanting to play soccer at higher levels, Glasser says that now she actually wants to play basketball going forward, placing the change at around her sophomore year.
“I’m not sure exactly what it was that changed,” Glasser said. “I just know that I started loving basketball more and more and wanting to watch and learn about it all the time. I still love soccer, but basketball is what I want to do.”
As far as where she’ll go to college, Glasser isn’t certain yet. She’s leaning towards playing at a two year school and then transferring to a bigger university instead of going to a four year school right off the bat, and to that end, she said that she’s been talking to longtime Pirates coach Alison Crumb about potentially joining her team next year.
That said, nothing is settled yet, according to Glasser.
For Dietzman, college will be focused on academics, with sports taking a back seat.
“I can’t see myself just playing one sport all year round,” Dietzman said. “That’s why I’ve decided to do intramural and club sports in college and not dedicate myself to one.”
Dietzman indicated that she will most likely be going to Western Washington University, where she’s already been accepted into their honors program.
As for the team they’re leaving behind, both stars have a good feeling.
“There’s such great girls in those teams, and great coaches,” Glasser said. “They’re going to be in great shape after we’re gone.”
Said Dietzman of her high school athletics career, “I wouldn’t change it for the world.”