The Squalicum Storm’s road to the state volleyball tournament narrowed after the results of the Class 2A Northwest District Tournament on Wednesday, Nov. 4, but its hopes for a state title are still alive.
The Storm won its first match against Lakewood before dropping its second to top-seeded Burlington-Edison.
“I just wanted us to stay together as a team no matter what happened,” Storm head coach Joe Amaral said. “Whether we got the point or not, we needed to stay together as a team and work together.”
That served the fifth-seeded Storm well during its first match against No. 4 seed Lakewood.
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Lakewood won the first game, but the Storm battled back to take the match three games to one.
Squalicum trailed 23-21 late in the fourth game. All the momentum was with Lakewood after several costly Storm errors. Amaral called a timeout and rallied his team.
“I told them we have to make it happen right now, retake the serve and make every serve count,” he said.
That’s more or less what happened.
The Storm won the first point after the timeout and regained the serve, which brought sophomore Emma Schroder to the service line.
Schroder calmly served two straight aces, giving Squalicum a 24-23 lead. Squalicum won the next point, and took the match to advance to the district semifinals.
“I knew I needed to serve it in bounds and serve it hard,” Schroder said. “It’s really great we were able to rally after losing the first game.”
Schroder recorded a team-high 17 kills during the first match, while junior Alyssa Dickerson added a team-best 14 digs.
After winning their first match, the Storm faced to-ranked Burlington Edison.
And the result was the polar opposite of the first.
Squalicum lost 25-6, 25-14, 25-9.
The Storm struggled to gain any offensive momentum, at times not holding the serve consecutively for the entire game.
“You have to give Burlington credit,” Amaral said. “They’re undefeated for a reason.”
Schroder and Dickerson led Squalicum in kills and digs in the second match, with seven and three, respectively.
Squalicum can still advance to the state tournament, provided it wins both its consolation round games Saturday, Nov. 7. The top three teams in each bracket advance to state. Those games begin at noon and are played at Shorecrest High School.