Using big runs and strong serves, the Mountlake Terrace Hawks defeated the Glacier Peak Grizzlies 25-23, 25-21, 25-22 in the first round of the District 1 3A Volleyball Tournament Tuesday night at Mountlake Terrace High School. The Hawks will face Ferndale on Thursday in a winner-to-state game at 7 p.m.
While it was a straight-set victory, Terrace had to hold on in each set as Glacier Peak fought back from big deficits. Down 10-5 in the first set, the Grizzlies came back to tie twice, at 22 and again at 23; in the second set Glacier Peak, down 7-1, tied Terrace at 10 and 13; and in the third set Terrace built up a 15-9 lead only to see GP tie the set at 19, at 20, at 21 and finally at 22 before the Hawks scored the final three points to grab the win.
Hawk Head Coach Marietta Snyder praised her team for their mental toughness in the tight match. “I thought they played really well,” Snyder said. “They stayed focused. All three of the sets were really close; it could have gone either way. But here we are. This team trusts that they can pull it out.”
Terrace collected nine aces on serves Tuesday, including one at match point when Glacier Peak couldn’t return a serve by senior Meg Roberts.
“That felt really good,” Roberts said of her final serve. “I actually wanted to get it over with and take the win.
Although serves are worked on at each practice, Snyder confessed the team has been working on them more lately. “Serves were way better – we’ve been practicing a little bit,” Snyder said.
Glacier Peak utilized a balanced attack as seven players recorded kills in the match. Their big front line featured 6-3 freshman Lauren Sanders, who had eight kills, and 5-10 Caitlyn Johnson, who jumped in for five kills and three blocks. But just when GP would crawl back into a set, the senior leadership of Terrace would rise above the younger Grizzlies and prevail.
Hawk Madison Eich saved her best for the third and final set when she recorded nine of her 17 kills, many set up by teammate Justine Kelly, who had 29 assists in the match. Roberts added nine kills for the Hawks.
With a win on Thursday, Terrace will be guaranteed a spot at the WIAA 3A Volleyball Championships in Lacey and play for the district championship on Saturday, Nov. 9, at Glacier Peak High School. If the team loses they will be faced with playing in a winner-to-state, loser-out match on Saturday.
In the other match played Tuesday at MTHS, Ferndale outlasted Stanwood 25-16, 25-20, 20-25, 21-25, 15-7 to earn a spot in Thursday’s district semifinal match-up with Terrace.
MTHS Girls Volleyball: Mountlake Terrace 3 – Glacier Peak 0
Glacier Peak 23 21 22
Mountlake Terrace 25 25 25
MTHS next match: versus Ferndale in a District 1 3A semi-final, Thursday, Nov. 7, 7 p.m., Mountlake Terrace High School
(Glacier Peak and Stanwood will meet at 5:00 p.m. in a loser-out match.
— Story by Doug Petrowski