High School Sports

Lyncs dominate Golden Eagles in key NWC volleyball match

Lynden Christian's Kelsie Otter lunges to keep the ball in play during a victory over Ferndale on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at Ferndale High School in Ferndale.
Lynden Christian's Kelsie Otter lunges to keep the ball in play during a victory over Ferndale on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at Ferndale High School in Ferndale. The Bellingham Herald

The two thumps of Lynden Christian volleyball senior Kara Bajema’s kill — the first her connecting with the ball, the second the ball smacking against the court — was a fitting end to what was a dominant victory for the Lyncs.

Playing in their second Northwest Conference match of the season, and a key one against a top-tier opponent, the Lyncs showed why they’re the reigning Class 1A state champions, topping Ferndale 25-19, 25-18, 25-14 on Tuesday, Sept. 22, in Golden Eagle Gym.

“They have some great talent with Taryn (Potter) and Whitney (Walker) so we were very nervous coming in but the girls did a really good job of executing the gameplan,” LC coach Kim Grycel said after the match. “Kara was dominant but the other girls stepped up and helped get her the ball.”

Bajema finished with a match-high 25 kills, coming from myriad places on the court including her powerful hit she’s known for along with a cross-court cut.

Lynden Christian's prep volleyball team beat Ferndale 25-19, 25-18, 25-14 in a Northwest Conference match on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at Ferndale High School.

“I’ve been really working on reading the block and trying to play smart and not just going up and hitting it,” she said. “They have a big middle; Rose (Compton), is obviously really tall. You just have to be able to read her and see where she’s coming from.”

The University of Washington-commit credited her setter and fellow captain, Carli Tjoelker, who tallied 28 assists, with a strong night as well. After all, a hitter is no good without a setter, Bajema quipped.

For Ferndale, it was a disappointing showing.

After topping the Lyncs in the preseason Jamboree, the Golden Eagles started the first set strong, going up 6-2. But a few service errors quickly let the Lyncs back in the game, eventually drawing even at 16-16 before LC captured the last four points to win 25-19. The Golden Eagles only had one run larger than four straight points the rest of the match.

“We got behind with some poor serving in the first game. I think that really swung the momentum in LC’s favor,” Golden Eagles coach Patti Hoelzle said. “I think we definitely label it as disappointing but we also label it as a learning experience and we can pick apart some things. I actually told the players after the game that maybe it’s a good thing for some of them who thought this road to the postseason was going to be easy.”

Reach Joshua Hart at 360-715-2238 or joshua.hart@bellinghamherald.com.

Stat Leaders

Lynden Christian

Kara Bajema 25 kills

Hannah Rusnak 8 kills, 9 digs, 3 aces

Carli Tjoelker 28 assists

Kelsie Otter 4 aces

Ferndale

Taryn Potter 10 kills

Julia Olson 5 kills

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