Net wins few for Falcon volleyball

Three games ago, a trip to the state volleyball tournament seemed to be on the other side of a couple of regular season victories and a single playoff win for the South Whidbey Falcons.

But by late evening Wednesday, none of those victories had materialized and the Falcons were left standing at the precipitous edge of a season.

Having lost their previous two games to Nooksack Valley and Lynden Christian and dropped out of a third-place tie in the North Cascades Conference, the Falcons took an unexpected fall in the first round of district playoffs to a team they had easily handled a month earlier.

Against Mount Baker in a road game at Meridian High School, the Falcons couldn’t put together much of a passing game and wound up losing in four games, 22-25, 25-10, 20-25, 23-25.

South Whidbey coach Tim Durbin remarked only briefly on the game, noting that the Falcon girls had trouble moving the ball around the court and that they were unable to put up a solid defense through much of the match.

Otherwise, he said, the match was winnable.

“Everything else was good,” he said of his team’s play.

Offensively, the team functioned as well as it has all season, with seniors Katy McGillen and Bronwyn Russell slamming a combined 23 kills off 33 Brianna Hussey assists. But the plays made up front weren’t enough as the Falcons lost three close games out of the night’s set.

Now, to reach their goal of playing in the state tournament, the girls must win their next two games. They play Nooksack Valley in an 11:30 a.m. loser-out match at South Whidbey High School Saturday. If they win, they would have to beat the winner of a Blaine-Mount Baker match to take the final spot available in the state tournament.

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