Kamiak overpowers Mariner | Volleyball

Knights cruise to 25-5, 25-14, 25-2 win over district rival
By David Pan | Oct 25, 2017
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak’s Hannah Knutt smashes the ball against the net during a Wesco 4A match against Mariner Thursday, Oct. 19, at Mariner High School.

Kamiak came out strong against district rival Mariner and didn’t let up for a second.

Junior Quinci Flowers recorded six kills and seven aces to lead the Knights to a quick 25-5, 25-14, 25-2 victory over the Marauders in a Wesco 4A volleyball match Thursday, Oct. 19, at Mariner High School.

“We were really inspired,” Flowers said. “We were really motivated tonight.”

Teammates Sarah Brachvogel also had six kills and six aces and Sam Gregory dished out 16 assists.

Brachvogel helped spark a 20-point run in the third set with some tough serves, Knights coach Greg Post said.

“Our girls were on point and played well,” he added.

Flowers said that it was important for Kamiak (11-2 in the league. 11-2 overall) to keep the pressure on Mariner throughout the match because the Marauders (2-11, 2-11) are a scrappy team.

“We just know that we had to push forward and play them like we play every other team,” Flowers said.

The Marauders struggled against some tough serves by Kamiak.

“They’re a great serving team,” Mariner coach Julia Church said. “We had great energy. The score doesn’t reflect energy and us being good teammates.”

Junior Jaleena Valle recorded 12 digs and sophomore Taylor Rudberg had 10 assists for Mariner.

Post was especially pleased with how the Knights sustained their energy from start to finish regardless of the score. The Kamiak coach was able to put a lot of players out on the court, have them change positions and still have success.

The Knights have clinched second place in the league, behind Lake Stevens (13-0, 13-0). The Vikings rallied for a 22-25, 16-25, 25-22, 25-13, 15-12 victory over Kamiak on Tuesday, Oct. 10. The loss was the second five-set loss by Kamiak to Lake Stevens, who beat the Knights 25-20, 22-25, 25-27, 25-9, 15-9 in the first meeting between the two teams in mid-September.

Kamiak had 2-0 and 2-1 leads on Lake Stevens but wasn’t able to close out their opponent. The Knights have had issues in rebounding quickly, Post said.

“We’ve had problems in being able to sustain and push through whether ahead or behind,” Post said. “We really kind of hit a huge lull, a big hole (against the Vikings) and put pressure on ourselves with the fifth set.”

Kamiak has been focused on simulating pressure situations in practice and doing mental training. Positive communication is critical.

“When teams get into these lulls, individuals close down and they also start playing not to lose instead of playing to win,” Post said.

The Knights also have what Flowers described as mental toughness Fridays.

“We write down what we need from our players, what we can do about ourselves and what we can gain as a team to make our team’s motivation go up,” Flowers said. “Our mental toughness needs work, but it definitely has gained a lot over the season.”

Kamiak is scheduled to host its final regular season game against Mount Vernon at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 25. The Knights, the Wesco 4A’s No. 2 seed, will host a second round district match at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 31.

Mariner faces Monroe in its final match of the season at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 25, at Monroe High School.

The Marauders picked up their second victory, defeating Cascade 25-22, 26-24, 18-25, 27-25 on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Rachael Hendrickson recorded six kills.

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