BELLINGHAM - The Sehome volleyball team accomplished something no other team has this year when they took Anacortes to five games in the Class 2A Northwest District Tournament on Wednesday, Oct. 31, at Squalicum High School.
Sehome lost the match to Anacortes 25-17, 22-25, 25-17, 24-26, 15-7 in the semifinal match with winner-to-state implications.
The Mariners came from behind in the fourth game to take the Seahawks to 5.
After switching leads a few times, Anacortes took a 24-21 lead and was one point away from putting the game away and advancing to the district championship game, but Sehome rallied behind Taylor Lyall's service and scored five consecutive points to push the match to five games.
"I was nervous in the beginning," Lyall said, "but we went all out and I was ready to just put it in. I was just so excited; we have been battling Anacortes all year so it was nice to take them to five."
The Mariners weren't able to give Anacortes its first loss of the season, but are still able to qualify for the state tournament with two wins on Saturday, Nov. 3.
"I think the girls wanted it so bad that it was almost a distraction," Sehome coach Kristy White said. "They knew that if we won we would have gone to state and beat Anacortes for the first time since I have been coaching the past four years."
The Mariners never had a lead in the first game but rallied a couple times and came within five points twice before Anacortes finished the game on a four-point run.
The second game went a lot better for the Mariners with the teams switching leads eight times. Sehome was able to secure the win, though, by taking four straight points from the Seahawks.
The Mariners took that momentum into the third game, but were unable to keep pace as Anacortes' defense only allowed Sehome two earned points while they earned their final 10.
"We haven't taken a single game off them all year," White said. "This is the fourth time we have played them this year so we knew what to expect."
Sehome defeated Archbishop Murphy 25-8, 25-6, 25-5 in the first round match. The Mariners were led in that match by Lyall with 12 kills, Dani Johnson with six aces and six kills and Katie Becker with seven kills and zero errors.
The Mariners were led by Johnson with 12 kills, Kendra Thomas with 16 digs and Lyall with nine kills, 15 digs and five aces.
"Megan Greer was a standout player tonight too for us," White said. "Our passes were nowhere near perfect and she gave our hitters the most unreal hits."
Sehome will play Lake Washington in the semifinals of the knockout tournament, with the winner advancing to a winner-to-state match, both on Saturday, Nov. 3.
"We need to remember our intensity in the next couple of games," Lyall said. "This is good practice for us for state."