Shorthanded Klahowya loses match to Sequim

SILVERDALE — The Eagles knew they were in for a tough game with Sequim coming to town. But they also had to battle illnesses and an unexpected fire alarm before their Monday night match.

Though the Wolves took three out of the four sets, 25-5, 18-25, 25-13, 25-18, head coach Wendy Kraft was happy with the way her team dealt with adversity and settled down after a bad start.

“What I really like is they don’t let that dictate anything,” Kraft said, “because they could have played the rest of the games that way.”

Klahowya was without the services of senior hitter Baleigh Pyle and another player, Grace Christensen, was also under the weather, though she was able to play. With swing player Bella Young only able to play three sets — she had already played two sets with the junior varsity team — a number of Eagles found themselves in unusual spots on the court. This made getting a consistent offensive attack difficult, but they dealt with their adversity well, especially after a tough first set.

Just as the teams were lining up for introduction, the fire alarm went off at Klahowya, delaying the match by about 30 minutes. The Eagles were clearly out of sync as Sequim reeled off 13 consecutive points in set one to take a commanding 23-4 lead.

But Klahowya rallied behind its serving, which was generally excellent throughout the match and was a key part of its two best runs.

Rachel Bailey was the server as Klahowya opened set two with eight consecutive points, including two aces, as she kept the Sequim defense completely off-balance. Taylor Bruce and Lizzy Rhizor also recorded two aces on the night.

Maile Lueck recorded an ace in set four as part of an 8-0 run that helped close an early 11-1 deficit.

Meanwhile, the defense did its best to contain the potent Sequim attack. Lueck was all over the backcourt, finishing the match with 20 digs, and the up-front blocking of Bailey, Katie Cooper and Chloe Settle helped defuse some solid spikes.

The Wolves’ front row was relentless, however, and ultimately ended up being the difference in the match. The Eagles did manage to stay close the rest of the way; they pulled back within four points at the end of set four.

“If we can play like that against all teams, we’re going to have some good success,” Kraft said.

Klahowya heads into the heart of its league schedule having faced some good challenges over the first two weeks of the season. The Eagles faced North Mason and Elma, and saw a number of good teams at the Kitsap Classic. They play Port Townsend and Chimacum twice each in the next two weeks, and that stretch will go a long way toward determining a champion in the three-team 1A Olympic League.

Sequim 3, Klahowya 1

25-5, 18-25, 25-13, 25-18

Individual Stat Leaders

Kills — Settle 5, Christensen 3, Bailey 2, Bruce 2.

Assists — Bailey 10, Bell 8.

Blocks — Bailey 9, Cooper 8, Settle 3.

Digs — Lueck 20, Bell 5, Bruce 4.

Aces — Bailey 2, Bruce 2, Rhizor 2.

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