A young, rebuilding Wolves nearly completed a comeback in their Olympic League opener last week but came up short against the Port Angeles Roughriders.
Behind Ava Brenkman’s 11 kills and three blocks, the Riders outlasted the visiting Wolves 15-13 in the final game after splitting the first four games on Sept. 12.
Kennedy Bruch added 16 kills with 10 digs for Port Angeles.
“My girls played very well especially on defense,” Sequim coach Jennie Webber Heilman said.
Sequim won the opening game 25-23 before dropping games two and three. Sequim rebounded for another two-point win in the fourth game (25-23) before falling in the fifth.
“Our goal was not to have any balls land in our court without someone going for it, which we accomplished,” Webber Heilman said.
“We never let up and we didn’t allow any big serving runs especially since that was the first varsity match for those girls except for Kalli (Wiker).”
Kendall Hastings and Kiana Robideau paced the offense with 12 kills each while Wiker, the junior captain who split time as setter and hitter, had a team-high 15 assists and added six kills.
Wiker was the serving star against PA, connecting in 29-of-30 serves, while Robiduea and Hastings had two aces each.
“As a team we served 88 percent which is not bad for the beginning of the season,” Webber Heilman said.
“Kiana, Kalli and Allie (Gale) were serving some pretty tough hard serves.”
Robideau (two blocks, 17 digs), Jessica Asselin (13 digs) and Hastings (two blocks) led the Sequim defense.
“Another goal for us is to get better in every match we play,” Webber Heilman said.
The Wolves didn’t lose a game in a pair of sweeps of Port Angeles last fall.
Last week’s win was the Roughriders’ first victory over Sequim in four seasons.
It also was the first win for new Port Angeles head coach Jennifer Reynolds over Webber Heilman, her former prep coach.
“It was a true testament to our mental toughness,” Reynolds said of the five-game match. “We have to be prepared to go five games no matter what. So we are focusing on that mindset, have to keep that steady pace and be prepared to play five games.”
The Wolves got a bit of a preview of their league match-up with Port Angeles at the season-opening jamboree at home on Sept. 9.
The Roughriders won two of three sets against the host Wolves, 25-23, 25-15 and 28-30.
Against Port Angeles, Robideau served 16-for-17 with two aces, four kills and 10 digs. Wiker served 8-for-8 with seven digs. Asselin was 9-for-10 on serves with three kills and five digs, while Amanda Weller had seven digs and McKenna Hastings had three kills and four digs.
The Wolves split their two matches, beating Port Townsend in the opener 25-9, 25-13 and 25-16.
In that match, Robideau served 10-for-11 with three aces and six kills, while Hastings served 6-for-6 for with two aces and two kills.
Asselin added four aces, while Kendall Hastings had five kills and Malory Morey served 6-for-6 serving with an ace.
Sequim was scheduled to host Bremerton on Sept. 17 — results were not available at press time.
The Wolves (0-1) are at Olympic on Sept. 19 and the Tacoma-Pierce County Volleyball Officials Tournament on Sept. 21. Sequim hosts Klahowya on Sept. 23 and defending league champ North Kitsap on Sept. 24.