Knights punch ticket to state tourney | Volleyball

Kamiak earns first trip to state tournament in four years
By David Pan | Nov 14, 2018
Photo by: David Pan The Kamiak volleyball team celebrates after defeating North Creek 25-23, 18-25, 25-23, 16-25, 16-14 to earn a berth to the 4A state volleyball tournament Saturday, Nov. 10, at Bothell High School.

Kamiak’s Sarah Brachvogel executed many successful kills during the Wes-King 4A District volleyball tournament.

But none was bigger than the final point against North Creek in a winner-to-state match Saturday, Nov. 10, at Bothell High School.

Brachvogel’s emphatic spike propelled the Knights to a 25-23, 18-25, 25-23, 16-25, 16-14 victory over the Jaguars, clinching Kamiak’s first state berth since 2014.

“That was the highlight of my season by far,” said Brachvogel, who led the Knights with a team-high 17 kills. “It was the best thing ever. I’m so grateful to be a part of this team and to be able to go to state. This is really a big opportunity for us, and especially for our seniors. For some of them, it’s their last-ever time playing volleyball.”

Kamiak’s senior class experienced many ups and downs throughout its four years in the program. The Knights, the Wesco 4A’s No. 4 seed, came up one match short of state at last year’s district tournament. The seniors were determined to push through this season.

“We haven’t gone to state for four years,” senior Hannah Knutt said. “Now is the year. We finally, as seniors, wanted to go to state and make this really happen. We made it happen, and we’re so excited.”

First-year head coach Jason Davis praised the Knights’ resolve in the face of a rollercoaster five-set match against the Kingco’s No. 2 seed.

“These kids just rallied around each other and worked their tails off the entire time, and found a way to get it done,” Davis said. “They learned how to fight through adversity. They learned how to fight through the other team having momentum and just going ‘OK. We just need to execute a little bit.’”

After winning the third set 25-23 to go up 2-1, the Knights jumped out to a 7-4 lead but were unable to close out North Creek, which went on a 12-3 run to take the fourth set 25-16.

Kamiak (12-7) didn’t dwell on the missed opportunities.

“We just talked about pushing forward,” senior Quinci Flowers said. “Set four, we had a lot of things to learn from that set. Set five is fresh. It’s 0-0. We needed to go out there and go right from the gates.”

The Jaguars (18-3) took a 2-0 lead, but the Knights then responded with six straight points to take a 6-2 lead. North Creek battled back to tie the score at 7. The largest lead either team would take the rest of the way was one point, and the two teams tied each other seven more times before Kamiak scored the final two points to pull out the 16-14 set victory and claim the match.

“We just needed to keep talking to each other and keep throwing positive energy toward each other,” Flowers said. “We were always looking forward to the next point even if we lost (the previous point).”

Kamiak’s resolve was tested in the second set, when the Knights fell behind 13-2. Kamiak later trailed 18-6 but went on an 11-3 run to cut the deficit to 21-17.

The Knights used that momentum to capture the critical third set 25-23.

“Even though we didn’t win the second set, I think it was really important that we got a run and we kind of got back on our feet,” Brachvogel said. “That just showed us that we can come back and that we had the determination and drive to keep going.”

Knutt finished with 10 kills, 10 digs and four aces and sophomore Marina Tukan recorded 10 kills and 11 digs. Sophomore setter Camryn Woodworth had 42 assists and 21 digs.

The Knights are scheduled to face West Valley (Yakima) in a first-round state tournament match at 9:45 a.m. Friday, Nov. 16,, at the Yakima Valley SunDome.

“Our front row played great,” Davis said. “It was a team effort. Today was just kind of everybody coming together and fighting hard.”

 

KNIGHTS FIGHT THROUGH CONSOLATION BRACKET: Kamiak defeated Bothell 25-7, 21-25, 25-10, 25-21 in a loser-out Wes-King 4A match Tuesday, Nov. 6, at Bothell High School. Hannah Knutt finished with 16 kills, 13 digs and four aces.

The Knights then dispatched Mount Si, 25-23, 25-19, 24-19 in another loser-out match Thursday, Nov. 8, at Bothell High School.

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