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Wolverines finish third at Yakima Sundome Volleyball Festival | Volleyball

The Friday Harbor Wolverines volleyball team. Back from left, Rachael Hay, Kendra “Jeff” Meeker, Lizzy Starr, Megan Cuomo, Kaylen Meeker. Front from left, Kia Johns, Sierra Dawson, Zoe Lariviere, Kelsey Barnes.  - Scott Rasmussen / Sports Preview
The Friday Harbor Wolverines volleyball team. Back from left, Rachael Hay, Kendra “Jeff” Meeker, Lizzy Starr, Megan Cuomo, Kaylen Meeker. Front from left, Kia Johns, Sierra Dawson, Zoe Lariviere, Kelsey Barnes.
— image credit: Scott Rasmussen / Sports Preview

The Friday Harbor Wolverines finished third in the Yakima Sundome Volleyball Festival, Sept. 10.

In their performance, the Wolverines gave notice to everyone that they have been practicing hard and have come along way in the past few years. The Sundome Festival is filled with teams that make regular appearances to the State Championships every year; half of the 32 teams that were at this event made it to the State playoffs last year.

The Wolverines started off the morning seeded fourth of four teams in their respective pool. Their first contest was against No. 2 seed Three Rivers Christian, which made it deep into the 1B State playoffs last year; the Wolverines overcame some early nervousness to up-end Three Rivers 25-16 and 25-20.

The Wolverines lost to No. 1 seed Newport 10-25 and 20-25, but shook off the loss to defeat No. 3 seed Bickleton 25-19 and 25-22. The Wolverines advanced to No. 2 — in the top half of the 32 teams in the tournament.

After the break, the Wolverines took control from the first serve and defeated Goldendale 25-20. In game 2, Goldendale took an early lead but the Wolverines prevailed 28-26.

"This game had proven not only to our team that we were able to compete at this level but realize a sense that we were able to beat some of the top-tier teams," Friday Harbor Head Coach Travis Mager said in a post-game report.

The day's competition began at 8 a.m. By 7 p.m., exhaustion took its toll and the Wolverines were outpaced by deep-benched Naches Valley 15-25 and 10-25.

"By the end of the day, there were many fans that came to watch the Wolverines and commented on how good they were playing," Mager said. "The Wolverines had set out for a fun day of volleyball, which was accomplished, but also left with a newfound popularity amongst some of the best teams in the state. This was an all-around strong effort from a team that was limited in numbers compared to the other teams but had great individual efforts on the heels of some of the senior leaders."

Kelsey Barnes turned a lot of heads with some dominating play at the net, as well as dominate serving. Rachael Hay had a great day of setting that proved to be the key to the team's success.

"Rachael was able to track a lot of balls down and get them in the right position for the rest of her team to take advantage of," Mager said. "Being the one lone setter is hard enough during one match, let alone having to do it for 12 hours. My hat goes off to her for a great day and making everyone around her better."

Zoe Lariviere put on a defensive display that had teams and coaches alike wondering how she was always in the right spot at the right time.

"Zoe was the key element to the success of the Wolverines' dominance on this afternoon," Mager said.

Next: Due to some complications in the schedule, the varsity volleyball game vs. Evergreen Lutheran Sept. 18 has been cancelled (the JV will host Evergreen Lutheran JV).

The Wolverines (0-1) host Concrete Sept. 23, 4:45 p.m.

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