LAKEWOOD Lynden knew its matchup against 2012 2A state champion Yakima West Valley was going to be difficult.
Despite losing to the Rams 25-16, 25-19, 25-20, in the Lions opening-round match at the Class 2A State Volleyball Championships on Saturday, Nov. 15, at Pierce College in Lakewood, they never let West Valley run away.
Our goal was to score a little bit more in each set and we did that, Lynden coach Julie Clift said. Our whole season has been about peaking at the right time, and I feel we used that match to make ourselves better.
Lynden moves in to the consolation side of the bracket and will face the loser of the Ridgefield-North Kitsap match at 5:15 p.m.
In the first set, Lynden watched the Rams commit four errors in the first seven points, giving Lynden a 5-2 lead. West Valley would rally to win the next five points - and nine of the next 11 - to stretch its advantage to as many as four. The Lions struggled containing the Rams hitters, Bridgette Webb and Megan Atkinson, as the two combined to produce four kills over a key five-point run in the middle of the first set, giving the West Valley a 22-13 lead. The Rams would capture the first set off an error by the Lions.
West Valley is a big power house, and they have a lot of big hitters, Clift said.
The second set couldnt have started much worse for the Lions, as they lost the first seven points four of which came off Lynden errors. The Lions managed to win 12 of the next 18 points to come within one point, 13-12, following a kill by hitter Kelsey Bouwman. A net fault on the ensuing point led to West Valley winning the next six points and taking a 19-12 lead. Despite three kills by Lynden hitter Kat Webb, the Rams were able to stave off Lynden. Webb finished the match with a team-high 11 kills and 10 digs.
Webb continually hit into traffic, often times finding seams through West Valley blockers. Still, the Rams were leaning her direction when it came to sets from Katelyn Mark, and Clift was pleased with the way her junior hitter mixed up her shots.
That is something she has been working on all season long, Clift said. She hasnt always been able to do that.
The two traded blows in the third set, with Lynden taking the lead five different times - the last being at 19-18. West Valley rallied back due in large part to four kills from Bridgette Webb over the final six points.