The Lynden Christian volleyball team goes for its third straight Class 1A state title in Yakima this weekend, while Bellingham heads to the Class 2A State Tournament in Lacey and Squalicum and Ferndale head to Kennewick for the Class 3A State Tournament. Here’s a quick look at Whatcom County’s four state qualifiers:
Record: 17-0 (first in Northwest Conference)
Road to state: Won Northwest District and bi-district titles without dropping a set to earn a top seed to the Class 1A State Tournament
Previous state appearances: 23 (last in 2015)
State record: 56-45
State trophies: 17
State titles: Two (2014, ’15)
First round opponent: Castle Rock (8 a.m. Friday at Yakima Valley SunDome)
Coach: Kim Grycel
The two-time defending champs make their 20th straight trip to state and seek their 17th trophy during that string. The second-ranked Lyncs have some new faces making contributions this year. Senior Hannah Rusnak had 19 kills in the bi-district title match, while Emmalee Bailey had 11 digs and Sofie Fransen had 39 assists. Junior Riley Van Hulsen had eight kills and four blocks.
Record: 10-8 (tied for seven in Northwest Conference)
Road to state: Won first three matches as the No. 7 seed into the tournament to advance to the bi-district championship match before losing to Archbishop Murphy and receiving a No. 2 seed to the Class 2A State Tournament.
Previous state appearances: Two (last in 1991)
State record: 5-5
State trophies: One
State titles: None
First round opponent: Ridgefield (1 p.m. Friday at Saint Martin’s University, Lacey)
Coach: Jessica King
The Red Raiders went on a magical ride in the bi-district tournament to advance to the championship match of a postseason tournament for the first time since it played for the 3A state tournament in 1977. Libero Sophia Lawrence has been solid for the Red Raiders this season. She is one of four seniors, along with setter Cassidy Fulton, outside hitter Olivia Ferguson and middle blocker Jocelyn Johnson, who have led the way.
Record: 14-3 (second in Northwest Conference)
Road to state: Beat Stanwood and Shorewood to advance to the Northwest District title match before losing to Arlington and receiving the district’s No. 2 seed to the Class 3A State Tournament.
Previous state appearances: One (2013)
State record: 3-1
State trophies: One
State titles: None
First round opponent: Roosevelt (11:30 a.m. Friday at Toyota Center, Kennewick)
Coach: Joe Amaral
After an impressive regular season, the eight-ranked Storm kept things rolling in the 3A Northwest District Tournament to earn its second trip to state in four years. Squalicum will be be seeking to improve on the seven-place trophy it won in 2013. Gwen Schorr had seven kills and 16 digs in the championship match against Arlington, while Chalae Wolters had three kills and seven blocks and Alyssa Dickerson had 25 digs.
Record: 15-4 (tied for third in Northwest Conference)
Road to state: Bounced back from a Northwest District semifinal loss to Arlington to win a pair of matches over Lynnwood and Shorewood and claim the district’s No. 3 seed to the Class 3A State Tournament.
Previous state appearances: 13 (last in 2015)
State record: 24-32
State trophies: Two
State titles: One (1986)
First round opponent: Mercer Island (11:30 a.m. Friday at Toyota Center, Kennewick)
Coach: Patti Hoelzle
Ferndale heads to state for a fourth straight year, but the Golden Eagles have only one win – a consolation match victory over Prairie last year – during that string. They showed they could play with their backs against the wall last weekend in the district tournament. Whitney Walker had 17 kills in each of Ferndale’s last two matches, while Julia Olson had eight in each. Gabrille Edison also has proven to be a force with 10 blocks on the final day of the district tournament.