Ferndale volleyball coach Patti Hoelzle said she knows she can push her young squad hard and they’ll respond well.
Expect her to be pushing even harder during the offseason this year.
The Golden Eagles, a squad without a single senior on its roster, claimed the sixth-place trophy at the Class 3A State Tournament in Kennewick on Saturday, beating Seattle Lakeside in five sets before being swept by Prairie in the fifth-place match.
“I think they are aware and I’m confident that we have all the foundation laid,” Hoelzle said. “Now we need to work hard to make our strengths even stronger and our weaknesses less so teams can’t find them and exploit them. ... We’re very happy with what we accomplished, but we know we can do even more.”
Ferndale (18-3), which advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to Eastside Catholic on Friday, faced a tough elimination match against Lakeside to ensure it would bring home a trophy Saturday morning.
“Part of it is we didn’t want to quit playing,” Hoelzle said. “This team is really close. With no seniors, they’re all really close in age. We literally have sisters playing together, and they work so hard together, and they didn’t want it to end.”
The Golden Eagles ended up surviving 25-15, 23-15, 20-25, 32-30, 15-10 to move on to the placing match.
Kylie Honrud bounced back from what Hoelzle called a “little off day” Friday to slam an impressive 26 kills and 15 digs. Setter Hailey Pelton, whom Ferndale uses as another offensive weapon, also had a big match with 11 kills, 29 assists and four aces, while libero Jolie Hinson had 26 digs in the match.
The placing match was closer that than the 3-0 score would indicate, as the first two games ended 25-23, before a 25-18 tally in the third.
“The first two games could have gone either way,” Hoelzle said. “They’re like us – really tall and like to play off their block.”
Honrud had another big match with 19 kills – more than six per game – while Pelton had eight kills and 17 assists.
Ferndale now hopes to use the experience as a spring board into 2018.
“I think they showed a lot of heart,” Hoelzle said. “Part of it is knowing how to compete at the state level against 3A schools, and we don’t see many of them until the postseason. You need to get that experience and know what it sounds like and feels like to be here and play that strong volleyball every single match. I think this will help us down the line.”
Ferndale volleyball trophy case