Storm top Lions to take seventh in state tournament

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDNovember 16, 2013 

The Squalicum volleyball defeated Lynden 25-13, 25-23, 24-26, 25-15 in the seventh-eighth place match of the Class 2A state tournament on Saturday, Nov. 16, at Pierce College in Lakewood.

Meghan Lowry led the Storm with 14 kills, Kayla Chang had 24 digs and Megan Casey recorded seven aces.

"All of them played great," Squalicum coach Laurie Quigley said in a phone interview. "They really took advantage of being here this weekend."

Squalicum, which was making its debut in the state tournament, took seventh with the victory and now says farewell to nine seniors.

"To get to state was the goal," Quigley said. "Placing was just icing on the cake. To come back after losing the first game and win the next three is a tough battle, and I'm proud of them."

The nine seniors graduating is an unusual circumstance, but the first-year coach is glad for the experience.

"We hit some big bumps early, but they kept battling and working hard," Quigley said. "They took advantage of every time they stepped on the floor and grew both physically and emotionally. It showed when things got tight against Lynden."

Kat Webb led the Lions with 18 kills and 17 digs. Kaitlyn Mark contributed 36 assists. It was the third time the Lions lost to the Storm this season.

"It was the best we played against them," Lynden coach Julie Clift said in a phone interview.

The Lions made it interesting when they came back from a seven-point deficit in the third set. Even though Lynden lost its last match, the team was still excited for the opportunity.

"It was amazing," Clift said. "We used it as a final celebration. The girls worked hard and improved on so many things in the two-week span leading up to state."

Kelsey Bouwman and Stephanie Somers both graduate from the team, but the Lions' six juniors will give Lynden something to look forward to next season.

"We have a lot of confidence," Clift said.

Lynden advanced to the seventh-place match by beating Fife 25-21, 25-13, 25-22 earlier Saturday.

The Lions were led by Webb, who recorded 18 kills and 14 digs.

"It's amazing because we didn't even think we were going to qualify for districts," Clift said. "They've taken this opportunity and embraced it. This chance to even go play in the district tournament even though you are at a low seed, and they took it and made it into something. ... It's just awesome to see for them, and it's a great confidence builder."

Squalicum advanced with a 25-18 25-17, 20-25, 25-13 over Yakima East Valley early Saturday.

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