LACEY — Both North Kitsap and Kingston were the only two Kitsap teams to make it to a state volleyball tournament, and their seasons came to an end this past weekend.
The Vikings did win a match at state to make it to day two of the tournament. They lost to Woodland three sets to none and then beat Sedro-Woolley, 3-2, to earn another shot at Fife with a chance to place seventh or eighth on the line, but the Trojans prevailed 3-1.
They also had an unfortunate injury early in the tournament. Senior middle blocker Taylor Clodfelder injured her ankle just a few points into their first set against Woodland. Clodfelder set North Kitsap’s single-season blocks record with 91 and was also a potent scorer.
“This was a big blow to the team, not only because of Taylor’s physical abilities but because of her standout positive attitude on and off the court,” head coach Tim French said. “It would have been nice to see what we could have done with Taylor at this tournament.”
But Taylyn Boop and Iahna Davis, a sophomore who had just been called up from junior varsity, were game to fill in. Although North Kitsap would end up losing that match 3-0, all three sets were decided by two points, and the last two went into volleyball overtime — the final scores were 25-23, 30-28, 26-24. Woodland would go on to finish sixth.
The Vikings rebounded to defeat Sedro-Woolley in five sets, 25-21, 14-25, 28-26, 20-25, 16-14 and moved on to face Fife on Saturday morning. The Trojans had just barely escaped their match against Steilacoom the previous day, also winning in five sets. But Fife prevailed, 27-25, 19-25, 25-14, 25-23.
For the tournament, Riley Rabedeaux led North Kitsap with 39 kills and 56 digs. Noelani Barreith added 26 kills, 55 digs and had a .980 serving percentage. Autumn Carver had 13 aces, 51 assists and 37 digs. Maddie Pruden finished her first and only year as a Viking with 20 kills and six blocks over the course of three matches. Joslyn League had 30 assists and 22 digs. Lexi Belinski had 36 digs, and Taylyn Boop led the team with seven blocks.
The Vikings won their sixth consecutive league title and placed third at district.
“Our biggest challenge this year was to be consistent from set to set,” French said. “When this team was at its best, it was very, very good and could compete with any team in the state, but we couldn’t seem to extend our high level of play for long enough periods of time.”
North Kitsap will graduate five players this season — Clodfelder, Boop, Pruden, Belinski and Kialey Moon.
“They all gave their hearts to the program this year and in years past,” French said. “We will miss their high level of play and their spirit next year.”
Kingston makes second straight state tournament appearance
The Bucs had never made the state tournament before last year, and made their second consecutive trip this past weekend. Unfortunately they lost 3-0 to eventual fourth place finisher Columbia River and eighth place finisher White River to close their season with a 13-9 record.
“Of course, we wish we would have made some more noise at state, but we were there for the second straight year,” head coach Ed Call said. “That is an impressive accomplishment as we continue to grow our program.”
For the second year in a row, the Bucs were able to leap over a team in the league tournament. Kingston and Sequim finished tied for second with the same 10-4 league record, but the Bucs prevailed over the Wolves to take the second Olympic League seed in the district tournament. Kingston placed fifth at districts.
The Bucs will say goodbye to four seniors this year, including all-league hitter Ava McCabe who smashed the school record for kills, finishing with 1,047 for her career, including 344 her senior season.
Seniors Melanie Borson and Samantha Young were also solid all-around contributors, as was Naya Patterson in her first varsity season. But with plenty of young players and a growing program, the future remains bright.
The team also boasted a 3.65 GPA in 2018.
“Kingston is proud of the program we’ve been building, with four consecutive trips to Districts and two consecutive trips to state,” Call said.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN.