The Ferndale volleyball team reached its goal of making it to the second day of the Class 3A State Volleyball Tournament on Friday, Nov. 13. But they weren’t quite satisfied.
“We talked about unleashing the potential, and everything else was just icing on the cake,” Golden Eagles coach Patti Hoelzle said in a phone interview.
Ferndale certainly unleashed its potential in the first set of its consolation match against Auburn Mountainview on Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Toyota Center in Kennewick. But the Lions responded to win the next three and eliminate the Golden Eagles one win shy of grabbing their first state trophy since 1992 with a 16-25, 26-24, 25-12, 26-24 defeat.
“We came out with a little more energy in that first set,” Hoelzle said, “but they did a good job of adjusting. We had problems stopping their outside attackers, but we battled. It was back and forth and really close through most of the match.”
Taryn Potter matched her season high from one night earlier with 20 kills and added 15 digs to lead the Golden Eagles, while Whitney Walker added 16 kills and two aces.
“Tayrn is a really dynamic player,” Hoelzle said. “She is a go-to player we could always count on. It’s going to be really tough seeing her go.”
Potter is one of five seniors on the Golden Eagles’ roster, along with Morgan Shaw, Kaylynn Whipkey, Rose Compton and Peyton Morris, who all played a large role in getting Ferndale to the state tournament three straight seasons and grabbing their first tournament win since 1992, when the team placed fifth.
“This team really had a strong purpose and vision,” Hoelzle said. “This group of players was one of most passionate and dedicated I’ve ever worked with. ... It was easy to fight hard and work hard, because they know every one of their teammates was doing the same thing, and our seniors were big part of setting that mentality. That’s their lasting legacy here.”
Ferndale finished the season 16-5 overall, and Hoelzle said she hopes the younger players on the team can learn from the experience at state and carry the tradition to the next level next season.