Ferndale upends Hawks in volleyball playoffs; two wins needed Saturday for state berth

Terrace players on defense Thursday. (Photo by TK Johnson/MTHS Hawkeye)
Terrace players on defense Thursday. (Photo by TK Johnson/MTHS Hawkeye)

After breezing through five straight wins, including a 3-0 victory in the first round of the District 1 3A Volleyball tournament, Mountlake Terrace High School girls volleyball team members were dreaming of punching their ticket to state on Thursday night. However, their Ferndale opponent had other plans.

Terrace, the top seed in the tourney, fell to the No. 4-seeded Ferndale Golden Eagles 3-1 at Mountlake Terrace High School and now must win twice on Saturday to qualify for the state tournament the following weekend. And their first obstacle on the road to state will be the No. 2-seeded Meadowdale Mavericks.

Ferndale beat the Hawks 25-16, 20-25, 25-19, 25-22 and earned the school’s second trip ever to the WIAA 3A State Volleyball Championships; this year’s state tourney is set for Nov. 15-16 in Lacey. But first the Golden Eagles will play for the district title on Saturday, Nov. 9, 3 p.m. against Oak Harbor at Glacier Peak High School.

On Thursday, Terrace couldn’t keep up with the hard-hitting Golden Eagles, whose outside hitters Brooke Benson and Taryn Potter combined for 23 kills in the match.
Playing in the Northwest League against primarily 2A schools, Ferndale came into the tourney somewhat of a mystery, but have shown they belong. “They looked really good,” said Hawk Head Coach Marietta Snyder. “They looked way better than us, for sure, on this night.”

“Really, this tournament is the first time they have played under pressure,” said Ferndale Head Coach Patti Hoelzle. “It’s been great to see them execute and perform.”

“This team, 100 percent, loves each other,” Hoelzle continued. “They are excited about this sport. During the season you worry about burnout, but they are in the gym, wanting to work hard, wanting extra practice, and you couldn’t ask for anything more.”

After losing the first set, Terrace came back with a win in the second on the shoulders of the Eich sisters, Madison and Emily, who had 11 of the team’s 14 kills in the set. Aces from Meg Roberts and Gabby Joudi helped the Hawks lead from beginning to end, but it was the only time Terrace enjoyed a lead all night, as Ferndale controlled the scoreboard throughout the other three sets.

The Hawks came out of Thursday’s match a little banged up, as junior Nicki Bouche took an elbow in the nose from teammate Meg Roberts while attempting a block at the net. And junior Ali Hitchcock suffered a sprained thumb while trying to handle a strong spike from the Golden Eagles. Both Bouche and Hitchcock are expected to play on Saturday.

If Terrace wants more than just a district tournament appearance this year, they will have to beat two top Wesco teams on the final day of the tourney. The Hawks meet Meadowdale in a loser-out match at 1p.m. at Glacier Peak High School. If Terrace can get past the 12-4 Mavericks, they will play for the last District 1 spot in the state tourney against the winner of the Everett-Stanwood match, the two teams that finished third and fourth in the Wesco League regular season this year.

“I guess this was an off night,” Snyder said of her team’s play on Thursday, “but we’ll be there on Saturday.”

MTHS Girls Volleball: Ferndale 3. Mountlake Terrace 1
Ferndale 25 20 25 25
Terrace 16 25 19 22
MTHS next match: versus Meadowdale in a District 1 3A loser-out match, Saturday, Nov. 9, 1 p.m., Glacier Peak High School

— By Doug Petrowski

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