After a tough loss on Thursday, the Meadowdale Mavericks needed to regroup, focus their energy on a new opponent and get a win on Saturday in order to punch their ticket to the 3A state volleyball tourney later this month in Yakima.
The Mavericks succeeded on all counts.
Meadowdale will be heading back to Yakima Valley this year after sweeping the Oak Harbor Wildcats 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 27-25) in a District 1 3A Volleyball Tournament winner-to-state loser-out match played Saturday at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.
The victory handed the Mavs a second straight trip to state, something the team had been working towards since they were bounced from last year’s tournament going 0-2 on the first day of matches at the Yakima Dome.
“I was really hoping we’d get to go back and now that we get to go I’m overwhelmed with excitement,” said senior Sofia Brockmeyer. “I love my team and just going with them and getting this opportunity is so amazing.”
It was preparation and confidence that the Mavs, seeded no.3 in the district tourney, rode to victory on Saturday. Meadowdale easily won the first two sets, then overcame a late 22-19 deficit in the third set to claim the set and match win over the no.9-seeded Wildcats (11-9 overall).
Meadowdale senior Mia Johns said she and her teammates were well-prepared for Oak Harbor, a team they had not been familiar with until Friday, the day before the two teams met in the winner-to-state tilt.
“We watched film on Oak Harbor non-stop last night,” Johns said. “We all had homework on them. We knew what they were going to do, when they were going to do it; we prepared for this match.”
Saturday’s victory came after the Mavs (14-6 overall) had their hopes of playing for the district tourney championship squashed on Thursday with a disappointing 3-1 loss to Shorewood.
“It was something we weren’t expecting as a team as we wanted to play for that district title,” Johns confessed. “It was so devastating. But it feels amazing to be able to pick yourselves up and learn from it and push yourself as hard as you can. We played our game today.”
Meadowdale’s play on Saturday included strong efforts from their starting outside hitters. Jackie Tang and Violet DuBois both had 10 kills to lead the Mavs; Ja’elle Jenkins added another six kills in the win.
“We put away all the pressure,” Johns said. “We played our game with each other. We just relaxed and did what we knew how to do.”
Next for Meadowdale will be the 20-team 3A state tournament that begins on Friday, Nov. 17, at the Yakima Dome. Johns, Brockmeyer and the rest of the Mavs are hoping confidence and determination will be their calling card on this year’s trip to state.
“We’re just going to fight for every point that we can; we’re going to play our hardest,” said Brockmeyer.
To view the entire District 1 3A Volleyball Tournament bracket, click www.wpanetwork.com/wiaa/brackets/tournament.php?act=view&tournament_id=4099.
Prep Volleyball: Oak Harbor vs. Meadowdale, Nov. 11 (a District 1 3A Volleyball Tournament winner-to-state loser-out third place match)
Meadowdale 3 – Oak Harbor 0 (25-16, 25-15, 27-25)
Top Meadowdale performers:
– Laiken Thoesen, 25 assists
– Sophia Brockmeyer, 13 digs
– Jackie Tang, 10 kills
Records: Meadowdale 14-6 overall; Oak Harbor 11-9 overall
Meadowdale next game: at WIAA 3A State Volleyball Tournament; time and opponent to be determined; Friday, Nov. 17; at the Yakima Dome
— Story and photos by Doug Petrowski