For the second straight year, the Sehome volleyball team advanced to the Class 2A state semifinals with a pair of wins Friday, Nov. 14, at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom in Lakewood.
“Holy smokes, I’ve got a headache,” joked Sehome coach Kristy White after a tough five-set win over Five in the state quarterfinals. “That was nuts.”
The Mariners will attempt to make the state championship match for the first time in program history when they take on North Kitsap at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15. Selah and either Archbishop Murphy or top-ranked Tumwater, which were playing late Friday, will play in the other semifinal.
After dropping its first set in the first round, Sehome rallied for a 22-25, 25-18, 25-14, 25-13 victory over White River Friday morning.
“It was 8 a.m.,” White said in a phone interview. “We practiced early all week, but the jitters were there, and we just needed to settle down. ... As the scores show, once we got into our groove, we did a fine job.”
Dani Johnson had 16 kills, 14 digs and three aces in the match, while Emily Greer had 12 kills and 16 digs. Maddy Bryan added 13 kills, while Megan Green had 37 assists, 16 digs and two aces.
In the nightcap, Fife had the Mariners on the ropes, before Sehome battled back and ended pulling away for a 20-25, 25-17, 18-25, 25-13, 15-12 victory in the quarterfinals.
“We just needed to focus on the little things,” White said. “When you come into something like state, all of a sudden you’re focused on the big picture. We just needed to focus on the little things like moving our feet and making good passes ... all the things we’d done all season to get to this point.”
It took a couple of impassioned speeches from White and some of the team’s leaders to get that point across, but once she did, things started to click for Sehome, especially in the second half of the fourth set and early in the fifth.
“We had to realize we had to take care of what we could control and not worry about what the other team was doing,” White said. “When we came back as one unit, instead of six individuals, we started leaning on each other for support when we made mistakes and pulled together and got the job done.”
Johnson finished with 17 kills, 20 digs and an ace in the match, while Emily Greer had 11 kills and 12 digs and Megan Greer recorded 37 assists.