High School Sports

Lyncs lock up 18th straight trip to state

It simply never gets old for Lynden Christian volleyball coach Kim Grycel.

For the 18th straight season, Grycel will lead her team to the state volleyball tournament, after the Lyncs beat Overlake 25-13, 25-13, 25-12 in a winner-to-state match in the Class 1A Bi-District Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 8, at King’s High School.

“It was a great team win,” Grycel said in a phone interview. “We were able to get everybody in. It was a nice match, and it’s always exciting to go back to state.”

LC (15-2) enters as the No. 2 seed out of the Northwest District, meaning they’ll likely face another No. 2 or No. 1 seed in the first round of the state tournament, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Nov. 14-15, at the Yakima Valley SunDome. Pairings will be released on Sunday, Nov. 9.

“We know we’re going to get somebody tough right off,” Grycel said. “I’m confident in that we’ve had a tough enough run in conference to prepare us for whatever draw we get. We’ve been playing Sehome and a number of great 2A and 3A teams, so we feel we’re ready for the state tournament.”

The Lyncs certainly came ready on Saturday, as they quickly dispatched Overlake.

Kara Bajema led the Lyncs with 14 kills on just 17 swings. Madison Weg added eight kills, 19 assists and five digs, while Emily Veening had 13 digs and Morgan Braithwaite had four blocks and four kills.

Nooksack Valley suffered a 16-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-23 loss to Overlake in the first round of the tournament earlier in the day. The loss ended the season for the Pioneers (4-14).

Avery Tenkley led Nooksack Valley with nine kills, Brianna Turner had five kills and 16 digs and Olivia Berkan recorded five kills and 18 digs. Abbi Steele had a team-high 24 assists.

“In Game 1, we really didn’t make that many unforced errors,” Nooksack Valley coach Katie Emmons said in a phone interview. “We played well as a team, and we were on the attack most of the time. Game 2, 3 and 4, Overlake turned it up a little bit.”

Emmons was thrilled with the amount of growth her team showed and how well the Pioneers were play by season’s end.

Length of Lynden Christian’s state tournament streak corrected Nov. 9.