The future shone bright on the young Wolverines, as an untested, inexperienced and not so tall 2011 team achieved what no other has in recent memory.
They caught a highly touted and undefeated Lynden Christian team, at 3-0, flat-footed at home Saturday, raced ahead to snatch the first of the-best-of-five match up at 25-22, and were running neck and neck down the home stretch with the towering Lyncs in Game No. 2.
“We jumped on them from the get go,” Friday Harbor Head Coach Travis Mager said. “We peaked quick and stayed strong. It’s a great team builder to be playing that well.”
It’s also the first time in the Wolverines have won single game off the perennially playoff Lyncs during Mager’s six-year tenure at the helm.
Tied at 17-17, Lynden Christian, which took 6th place a year ago at the 1A state volleyball tournament, tailed eight of the next 13 points to clinch the second game and, with a deep sigh of relief, to even up the match at 1-1.
At the net, the Lyncs rode the hot hand of senior Jasmine Hommes, an all league MVP of Whatcom County 2010, to take early control of the third game and sealed the win by a swift and decisive margin of 25-7. With Hommes hammering winners, they clinched the match by outlasting several Wolverine rallies and crossed the finish line clinging to a 25-14 win.
But not without a fight.
“We may have underestimated them coming off the ferry,” Lynden Christian Head Coach Kim Grycel said of the Wolverines. “They played great defense and they caused us to make some errors. They’re scrappy.”
Scrappy… and then some.
“That’s the first game off them that we’ve won in a long time,” Friday Harbor co-captain Lizzy Starr said. “It feels really great. We were pumped. That’s why we played so well.”
With the loss to the Lyncs, the Wolverines fell to 0-2, but Mager said a defeat of that kind feels almost like a victory, especially as the team prepares to open Northwest 1A/2B League play on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at home against cross-island rival Orcas.
“We played just a great defensive game,” Mager said. “Today’s match wasn’t really about winning it all, it was about measuring ourselves against a really, really good team. The girls more than measured up.
The Wolverines are on the road at La Conner, Thursday, game time is 4 p.m., and then travel to face the Trojans of Meridian, Saturday, in a 1 p.m. regional Division 1A showdown. They face Mount Vernon Christian on the road Monday, and return home to host Darrington, Oct. 6, beginning at 4:45 p.m. in Turnbull Gym.