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South Whidbey volleyball splits district matches

Falcon senior Haley Viers tries a tip kill past Granite Falls senior Miranda Prausa  during South Whidbey’s final Cascade Conference game of the year. South Whidbey won 3-0 on Senior Night, the final time the Falcon seniors will play at home.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
Falcon senior Haley Viers tries a tip kill past Granite Falls senior Miranda Prausa during South Whidbey’s final Cascade Conference game of the year. South Whidbey won 3-0 on Senior Night, the final time the Falcon seniors will play at home.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

Playing in the double-elimination District 1 tournament, South Whidbey volleyball is on the brink of elimination.

South Whidbey split its first two matches, sweeping Friday Harbor before being swept by top-seeded Lynden Christian on Wednesday.

“We were playing as a team, we were all in sync,” said Falcon senior Meagan Longdon.

The Lyncs (14-2 overall) have played in the state volleyball tournament the past 16 years, and are assured a spot in the state-qualifying tri-district tournament.

Facing the district’s top team, South Whidbey put up a fight in the first and third sets. The Lyncs seized an early 10-3 lead on eight straight points. But the Falcons fought back to 20-20 until the Lyncs rattled off five unanswered points.

Lynden Christian quickly took the second set 25-13.

South Whidbey again forced a late tie in the third set at 20-20, but the Lyncs pulled ahead to claim the match.

The Falcons were led by juniors Abby Hodson and Anne Madsen with seven kills each, senior Mackenzie Hezel with 13 digs and six kills, senior Chantel Brown with 12 digs and Longdon with 22 assists.

“I was reading their blockers really well and switching up the plays so they couldn’t track Anne,” Longdon said.

In the first-round match, South Whidbey bumped Friday Harbor to the consolation round in a 25-17, 25-14, 25-14 win. Cruising in the first match boosted South Whidbey’s confidence heading into the contest with the top-seeded Lyncs.

South Whidbey faces Mount Baker in a loser-out match at 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2, at Lynden Christian High School. Earlier in the season, the Mountaineers (5-11 overall) lost 3-2 to Friday Harbor and were swept by Lynden Christian. The winner of the match will advance to a third/fourth-place match later Saturday in which both teams qualify for the tri-district tournament.

“We are all very excited,” Longdon said. “It could be our last game as seniors, it could be our next step to state.”

She added that the Falcons practiced hitting around tall blockers, something for which Mount Baker’s team is known. Scoring against blockers has been an issue at times for South Whidbey, though it appeared to improve at the end of the season, especially in a 3-0 win over Granite Falls on Tuesday.

 

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