For the first time in five years of going to the Class 3A Volleyball State Tournament, Ferndale got to leave with some hardware.
The Golden Eagles locked up either a seventh- or eighth-place finish with a 3-0 win against North Thurston on Saturday – 25-19, 25-17, 25-10. Ferndale was led by senior Julia Olson, who had 17 kills with a 50 percent hitting percentage.
In the second match, Ferndale played Prairie, a team it has faced three of the last four years in the tournament, and lost 25-22, 25-23, 25-17. With the loss, Ferndale finished eighth at state. Coach Patti Hoelzle said it was a big deal that her team finally placed.
“Today, any place we got was just icing on the cake,” Hoelzle said. “I’m just happy to end on a good note.”
Hoelzle credited her core group of five seniors for building off of each year leading up to their last. Seniors Brittany Olinger, Whitney Walker, Olson, Vanessa Johnson and Gabrielle Edison have led the team to four consecutive state appearances.
“The team was built around their passion and love of the sport and each other,” Hoelzle said. “They will be missed next year.”