High School Sports

Red Raiders edge Squalicum in rivalry battle

Brittany Western had a Bellingham school-record 42 assists as the Red Raiders’ volleyball team narrowly defeated Squalicum 3-2 in a Northwest Conference match Thursday, Sept. 18, at Squalicum.

“This was a really great showing of mental toughness,” Bellingham coach Kim Bjorklund said in a phone interview. “They did really well pulling out a win in five games.”

Along with Western’s assists, Bellingham was led by Anna Zeegers’ 14 kills, six aces and 25 digs, and Summer Douglas’ 15 kills.

“This group is real competitors and they stay even. They don’t ride the highs and lows,” Bjorklund said. “They’re willing to compete. To win in five games, they were in it. (Getting the record) is huge for Brittany. She’s been working super hard. This is her first year on varsity, and she was filling in because our other setter hurt her ankle in warm-ups. She played great tonight.”

Squalicum was led by Audrey Hansen’s 18 kills. Storm coach Laurie Quigley was also impressed with Haley Minninger’s setting.

“(Minninger) is just a great leader on the court,” Quigley said in a phone interview. “She goes after every ball, plays hard and puts up great balls for her hitters.”

The match was decided by errors, Quigley said.

“In games one and three we kept the ball in play, had long rallies, swung hard at the court and our defense was good,” Quigley said. “We need to work on being more consisitent.”

Hannah Loy also impressed Quigley with her effort.

“Loy played a great game on defense,” she said. “She had a lot of good defenseive plays and was great on serve-receive.”

Bellingham takes on Nooksack Valley at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, at home. Squalicum plays next at 7 p.m Tuesday, Sept. 23, at Anacortes.