The Class 2A District Tournament for high school volleyball starts Wednesday, Nov. 5. The opening games will be spread across Shorecrest and Squalicum High Schools. The Whatcom County teams include Squalicum, Sehome and Bellingham. Here’s five things you should know before play begins:
1. Sehome is undefeated. The Mariners racked up a 14-0 record in the regular season, including victories over Burlington-Edison, Lynden Christian and Ferndale. This a very good Mariners team that includes outside hitters Dani Johnson and Emily Greer and setter Megan Greer.
2. Squalicum qualified for the tournament on the last day. In what some might consider an epic match, the Storm defeated Lynden 3-2 in a winner-makes-playoffs, loser-goes-home match. Coach Laurie Quigley said the fifth and final set was the most fired up she’s seen her girls play this season. With basically a playoff match already under the belts of the Squalicum girls, they should be in a good position to possibly make a run in the district playoffs. Of course, the Storm face Sehome in the first round — a tough matchup for any team.
3. There’s a lot more riding on the line than meets the eye for Bellingham. Sure, the Red Raiders only have three seniors, but two of those seniors are coaches’ daughters. Head coach Kim Bjorklund has daughter Olivia playing in her final matches and so is assistant coach Janice Zeegers’ daughter, Anna.
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4. This whole thing will likely come down to a rematch between Burlington-Edison and Sehome. The Mariners defeated the Tigers for the first time in at least seven years and the first time in coach Kristy White’s tenure on Tuesday, Sept. 23. It was a back-and-forth affair and at one point the Mariners were down two sets to none. That match showed a lot about what White’s squad is made of and since then the two sides have gone in opposite directions. Burlington-Edison lost three of its next six games, while Sehome continued on undefeated. You can bet the Tigers will be looking for revenge in the district championship.
5. Don’t overlook the consolation side of the bracket. Two teams qualify from that side, so even a loss for one team isn’t devastating. Outside of defending state champs Burlington-Edison and Northwest Conference champs Sehome, there isn’t a truly dominant side. Anybody can qualify for those final two slots.