District comeback qualifies Wolfpack for state tournament | Volleyball

By David Pan | Nov 17, 2017
Photo by: David R Pan Jackson’s Kristina Johnson and Lauren Demoulin go up for a block against Kamiak during a winner-to-state/loser-out district match Saturday, Nov. 4, at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.

Jackson finished the season as one of the top 16 volleyball teams in the state.

The Wolfpack went 0-2 at the 4A state tournament but as far as Jackson coach Mindy Staudinger is concerned the team recorded a major victory by advancing state.

“There are many teams who simply don’t have that opportunity,” Staudinger said. “Although we lost both matches on Friday and were thus done, the girls competed hard and made most sets very close. We were proud of how the girls competed.

“This season was a success. We couldn’t have asked for a better group of kids, who continued to bounce back, never letting defeat deflate them.”

The Wolfpack dropped its first round match 3-1 to Tahoma and then lost 3-0 to Walla Walla in a loser-out game Friday, Nov. 10, at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.

Staudinger praised the play of senior hitters Ciarra Choe and Lauren Demoulin, as well as defensive specialist Lauren Atwood.

The road to the state tournament went through league rival Kamiak, who had defeated the Timberwolves twice during the regular season.

After beating Monroe 25-21, 28-26, 25-15 in a first round district match, Jackson took on Kamiak in a semifinal match Tuesday, Oct. 31 at Kamiak High School.

The Wolfpack lost the first two sets before roaring back to win the next three to claim a 21-25, 25-27, 25-22, 26-24, 15-13 victory.

“I think it regained our confidence that we could really take down any team,” said Choe who led the Wolfpack with 10 kills. “It was a very tough match, but I think that we came out of mud and we just persevered through it.”

Demoulin recorded nine kills and Paige Wilson had seven kills. Taylor Eastwood had 34 assists.

Jackson then lost 25-11, 27-25, 25-18 to Lake Stevens in the district title match on Thursday, Nov. 2.

The loss sent the Timberwolves (12-8) into a winner-to-state/loser-out match against Kamiak, which Jackson won 25-16, 25-20. 25-16.

“It means a lot,” Choe said of earning a berth to the state tournament. “We had it in our sights at the beginning of the season. A lot of the seniors were hungry for state. … We came out today and we just wanted it and we executed.”

Wilson recorded 12 kills and Choe added 10 kills. Eastwood dished out 31 assists and had five service aces.

After the loss to Lake Stevens, Jackson focused on two areas of its game – serve/receive and blocking.

“Everything fell into place,” Staudinger said. “But at the end of the day, everybody did

their job and that’s what we asked them to do. They competed and brought some energy to the court. … We needed to keep the ball in play and give ourselves a chance to play defense and make people earn their points.”

Jackson graduates five seniors but Staudinger sees a solid foundation for the future.

“We have a strong remaining group and some coming up that we believe will add to the group we have,” she said.

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