WHATCOM – Two Class 1A, three 2A and two 3A teams are still in full force in the district playoffs as of Wednesday.
Class 1A Lynden Christian and Nooksack Valley play loser-out games on Saturday, Nov. 3, at Meridian High School in the bi-district tournament.
No. 2-ranked Lynden Christian (14-3) lost to Kings in five sets on Tuesday night in the district championship game and took the second seed in the bi-district tournament. A win would have secured the Lyncs in their 22nd-consecutive trip.
Lynden Christian coach Kimberly Grycel said the team is disappointed in the loss but excited to still have a chance at making it to state.
The Lyncs play the winners of South Whidbey and District 2’s No. 3 seed. That game takes place on Nov. 3 at 11 a.m. The Lyncs’ matchup will take place immediately after at 1 p.m., in a loser-out, winner-to-state contest.
Nooksack Valley (9-9) captured the third seed in the bi-district tourney with back-to-back wins against Sedro-Woolley and Coupeville on Tuesday. The Pioneers now need two wins in a row to make it to state.
“I’m so proud of my girls,” Nooksack coach Katie Emmons said. “They showed some real grit on Tuesday. We put ourselves in a great position to earn our way to state.”
The Pioneers play a loser-out match against District 2’s No. 4 seed. If they win, they take on District 2’s second seed in a battle for the final state playoff spot.
“We have played some of the toughest teams in the state with some great players,” Emmons said. “I believe that has prepared us well for playoffs. We are so ready for the road ahead of us, no matter how treacherous it might be.”
Class 2A districts began with a loser-out round and remaining teams now move into double-elimination format. Sehome (4-12) was ousted in straight sets by Anacortes Tuesday night and are eliminated.
Bellingham (8-7) won its first-round match by sweeping Lakewood on Tuesday at Bellingham High School. The Red Raiders now take on No. 2 Lynden (12-2) at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Lynden High School.
The winner plays the victor of Sedro-Woolley and Burlington Edison, and will be one game shy of the district championship game and an automatic bid to the state playoffs. The loser will need to win three-consecutive games to claim third or fourth place in districts – each being a state playoff spot.
“We are fine tuning, keeping it light, match prepping,” Lynden coach Chris Elsner said. “Our mindset [is] no regrets, nothing left.”
Blaine (8-6) had a first-round bye and plays Archbishop Murphy at 4 p.m. on Thursday at Sammamish High School. A win would put the Borderites in the semifinals and one win away from securing a spot at state. A loss would require three-straight wins to claim either the third or fourth seed, which are both state playoff berths.
In Class 3A, Squalicum (7-7)faces Everett in a play-in game at districts at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Everett High School. The Storm found out this morning they were awarded the play-in game.
Storm coach Joe Amaral said he woke up surprised to find they were given the No. 10 seed and still in contention for a state playoff berth.
“We would be ecstatic to win on Thursday,” Amaral said. To go from thinking our season was over, to finding out this morning we are still in it, to hopefully winning tomorrow, I can only imagine what that might feel like.”
A win would place the Storm against Stanwood at 7 p.m. on Nov. 6 at Stanwood High School.
Top-ranked Ferndale (15-0)was awarded the No. 3 seed in the district playoffs and has a bye until Nov. 6, where it hosts Arlington at 7 p.m.
“This week of no matches is definitely a new experience for us,” Ferndale coach Patti Hoelzle said. “However, the players have been showing up ready to work extremely hard to improve their personal and team skills. We are lucky to have 14 players on this squad that all play a vital role on this team.”
The Golden Eagles are in the double-elimination portion of the bracket. A win over Arlington would put them one win away from the district championship game. A loss would require two-straight wins to advance to state.
“We want to take whatever weaknesses other teams have highlighted for us and fill in those holes during practices this week,” Hoelzle said.