Prep volleyball: Royals season ends with district playoff loss to Squalicum

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The Lynnwood Royals volleyball team, coming off a big win against rival Edmonds-Woodway, met Squalicum Saturday morning at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in a loser-out match in the District playoffs. Unforced errors by the Royals and consistent play on the part of the Storm resulted in a 3-0 win for Squalicum, ending Lynnwood’s season.

The 9-7 Royals played the 13-4 Storm point for point early in the first set.

Their characteristic good defense, and some well-placed shots at the net kept them in the game until two straight kills from Squalicum’s Emma Schroder opened a five point lead, 16-11.

Royals coach Annalise Mudailiar called a timeout in an attempt to stall the Storm momentum. Squalicum, however, ran away with the set, winning it 25-14.

The first timeout of the second set was called by the Royals with the Storm leading 18-14. Lynnwood had played their best volleyball of the match to keep it close, but the Storm’s size became a clear advantage, giving Squalicum their largest lead of the game.

Out of the time out, Lynnwood’s Leia Abiador and Kiana Pel played tremendous defense, digging out a handful of would-be Storm kills. That pulled the Royals to within three points at 23-20, but that would be as close as they would get. Squalicum finished the game 25-20.

The third and final set was all Squalicum. Their size and power at the net, led by Senior hitters Emma Schroder and Kenzie Cox as well as middle blocker Chalae Wolters, proved difficult for the smaller Royals to oppose.

The powerful topspin jump-serve of Junior Leeya Fogle was also key to the Storm’s victory.

The loss ends the season for the Royals.

“We pride ourselves on being a great defensive team,” Coach Mudailiar said after the loss. “This was a brand new squad. Pretty much everyone was new, so we knew there were going to be bumps. To make it as far as we did, I couldn’t be more proud of them for working hard and coming together as a team. We played some of our best volleyball the last two weeks against Ferndale and Woodway in the first two rounds of the district tournament. We played really good defense. Today, we didn’t show up ready to play, so it’s unfortunate, but I’m really proud of them.”

Lynnwood ends their 2017 season 8-4 in the Wesco 3A conference, and 9-8 overall.

Sqaulicum now advances to play Snohomish, with the winner securing a spot in the State tournament.

–Story and photos by Scott Williams

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