Women's volleyball - On a high, then Wildcats go dry, lose 25-17
The West Seattle High School Women's Volleyball Wildcats went up against the Eastside Catholic Crusaders Thursday in their first game of the District Championship tournament. The loser of their match would be knocked out of the tournament. This is the third time this year that the teams have met with the Crusaders coming out on top both of the first two matches. Both teams were on a roll coming off of their Metro tournament success.
West Seattle came out strong in game one and played the crusaders tough through a 6-6 tie and then again tie scores at 8-8 and 12-12. Lauren Freidenberg scored an ace on her serve and Gina Wittman continued with strong defense digging a huge slam from an Eastside hitter with a perfect pass to set up the Wildcat offense for a point during her service run of 4 which ended with a one point West Seattle lead, 14-13. They continued to score more on their serves than the Crusaders and led 19-15 at the second Eastside time-out. The Crusaders used their time-out well and fought back to a 19-19 tie to force a West Seattle time-out to which the Wildcats responded winning the next point and on a speedy serve by Gail Considine which was barely returned and rallied back and forth, Julia Freidenberg was set up for a final kill to stretch the WS lead to 23-20. Eastside Catholic would not give up and forced a 25-25 tie before giving the serve back to the Wildcats. Taylor Matalone served up an ace to win game one 27-25.
With the Wildcats on an emotional high they looked forward to game two, but suddenly they could not score a point. There were problems receiving serve and even when they put together a good point they were unlucky and lost it. West Seattle found themselves on the wrong end of a 8-0 run. They then continued with their woes through 3-14 and on to 6-20. The energy went out of the crowd and it looked like the girls were ready to fold, but beginning with a Considine run of 3 and then 3 more by J. Freidenberg and then 4 by Wittman including a Karly Sapp tip kill that won a long rally, West Seattle closed to 16 before giving up the final point.
Confidence restored, the Wildcats began game 3 with L. Freidenberg serving the first two points. The teams traded big points again. Eastside Catholic had strong serving and slams while West Seattle's blocking and digging strengths tried to keep up. West Seattle had dropped to 6-13 before Sapp took over the serve and quickly put together a 4-point run to close to 2. That same two points separated the teams at 17-19 until the Crusaders put together another run of their own to end game three 25-17.
The Wildcats gave up 4 points to begin game four and then played even through a score of 6 to 10 before Eastside extended their lead to 13-6. Finally, West Seattle put together a run behind the serving of L. Freidendberg including an Ace serve which closed the Crusader lead to three forcing them to call a time-out. Out of the time-out Freidenberg served up another strike which Eastside Catholic barely returned again setting up the West Seattle offense. They dug the ball from a slam by Cassandra Sailiai and got enough of a return to force a free ball from the West Seattle offense. Twice more the ball crossed the net during the point before their big hitter got an excellent shot at a kill, but Wittman was up to the task and dug the ball cleanly finally setting up another West Seattle point. Eastside continued to pressure and the West Seattle girls had given much of their energy. They gave up more points than they scored and Wittman took over the serve at 14-21 when she put together a 4 point run before the Crusaders finished off the game 25-19 and the match 3-1 ending West Seattle's season in the first round of the District Championship tournament. J. Freidenberg scored 10 kills, 5 blocks and 6 digs. Sapp: 6 kills, 5 blocks, 1 ace. Considine: 7 kills, 5 digs. Wittman: 2 kills, 4 blocks, 3 digs, 1 ace. L. Freidenberg: 17 assists, 2 kills, 6 blocks, 1 ace. Sailiai: 3 kills, 4 digs, 1 block. Matalone: 2 aces.
The girls left the building with chins up. As a parent I'm proud of them as were the other parents. At least 3 of the parents went to West Seattle as students which suggests that some of these girls will go on to apply the skills and lessons they've learned in the community for a long time to come. Basketball, Swimming and Gymnastics begin in the next couple of weeks.
Shawn Considine can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org