The Lynnwood Royals kept their hopes alive for an elusive berth in the WIAA 3A State Volleyball Tournament with a 3-1 (17-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-17) victory Thursday over the Edmonds-Woodway Warriors in a loser-out district tourney match played at Snohomish High School.
The Royals can earn a trip to state on Saturday, but will have to win two loser-out matches at Marysville-Pilchuck High School starting with an 11 a.m. tilt against the Squalicum Storm.
The 2017 season for Edmonds-Woodway came to an end Thursday with the loss to the Royals.
Riley Monan led Lynnwood in kills in the tourney triumph over the Warriors. After the win, the junior put her sights on the opportunity to play for a berth in the state tournament on Saturday.
“Every year we get so far (in the playoffs) and every year we get closer and closer to state,” Monan explained. “We haven’t made it yet, but we want this year to be the year.”
This is the fifth year in a row that Lynnwood has played in the District 1 3A Volleyball Tournament; in the previous four the team has been eliminated before earning a spot in the state tourney.
Despite facing the prospect of being eliminated from further tournament play for a fifth year-in-a-row, Monan and her Royals’ teammates came into Thursday’s match against E-W full of confidence – perhaps too much confidence as the team was surprised early on. The Warriors jumped out to an 18-6 lead in the first set on their way to a 25-17 first set victory.
Monan admitted that over-confidence may have been a factor in the Royals’ slow start. “We were kind of shook because (when) we were warming up and we just thought we were going to have it because we played them before and that was our best game of the season,” she said. “So we were expecting to come out with a bang. But we just weren’t ready enough.”
“But it all kind of clicked in the second set,” she added.
Lynnwood ran out to a 16-6 lead in the second set before the Warriors could catch their breath. E-W pulled even at 19-19 but couldn’t sustain the comeback and lost the second set 25-20.
The third set was tight throughout and the two teams would again find themselves tied at 19-19. But Lynnwood was able to make the plays when the pressure and won the third set 25-22.
The Royals controlled much of the fourth set, leading at one point 18-8 before the Warriors pulled to within 22-16. But once again Lynnwood finished the set strong, grabbing a 25-17 set win and the 3-1 match victory.
Warrior Coach Nicole Bordeaux admitted that her team’s inconsistency on Thursday made it difficult to overcome the strong Lynnwood squad.
“We just kind of got in a rut a few times there and couldn’t pull ourselves out,” she said.
Bordeaux was most impressed with the defensive effort the Royals displayed in the victory over her Warriors. “Lynnwood’s a great defensive team and they fought for every ball and every point and didn’t let a ball hit the ground; phenomenal defense.”
Despite the up-and-down night, Bordeaux praised her squad for their never-give-up attitude. “I’m proud of how hard we fought,” she said. “We didn’t give up until the very last point.”
While there was heartache and a few tears on the E-W bench following the match, there was nothing but smiles on the faces of the Royals, especially Monan.
“I hate losing,” she concluded. “I love playing this sport; and when everything comes together and when we all play well, that’s my favorite.”
To view the entire District 1 3A Volleyball Tournament bracket, click http://www.wescoathletics.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2375&sport=10.
Prep Volleyball: Edmonds-Woodway vs. Lynnwood, Nov. 2 (District 1 3A Volleyball Tournament loser-out match)
Lynnwood 3 – Edmonds-Woodway 1 (17-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-17)
Records: Lynnwood 8-4 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 9-7 overall; Edmonds-Woodway 8-4 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 10-7 overall
Lynnwood next match: versus Squalicum, Saturday, Nov. 4, 11 p.m. (District 1 3A Volleyball Tournament loser-out match); if victorious, Lynnwood will play winner of Arlington-Snohomish match at approximately 3 p.m. for third place in the district tourney and a berth to the WIAA 3A State Volleyball Tournament.
Edmonds-Woodway next match: 2017 season completed
–By Doug Petrowski