Reenergized Kamiak spikes district rival Mariner | Volleyball

Knights welcome back their coach with pair of victories
Oct 24, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak’s Adriana Kimpton and Hannah Knutt (right) go up for a block against Mariner Thursday, Oct. 18, at Kamiak High School.

Kamiak is coming together at the right time.

After an up-and-down start to the season, the Knights strung together back-to-back victories for the second time this year, avenging an earlier loss to Monroe 25-19, 25-16, 15-25, 27-25 and then dispatching district rival Mariner 25-8, 25-15, 25-15 in Wesco 4A volleyball action last week.

Kamiak coach Jason Davis and his staff decided to make some changes with the offense and the results are encouraging.

“We weren’t really hitting the expectations that I thought we could do,” Davis said.

Kamiak’s rotation was tightened up with the idea of letting the “cream rise to the top” and the Knights decided to go with one setter instead two, Davis added.

“It’s clicking. It took a little longer than I thought it was going to this year to get on track,” the first-year Kamiak coach said. “We looked really good. … They’re playing with fire. They’re working hard.”

The Knights finished the week 6-5 in the league, tied with Mount Vernon for fifth place, one game back of Jackson, Glacier Peak and Monroe, which are tied for fourth with 7-4 league records. The top five squads from the Wesco 4A advance to the Wes-King District tournament.

Senior Quini Flowers noted that the better communication fueled the two victories.

“We were talking to each other,” she said. “We felt trust more than anything. We were able to cover each other, be there for each other and be like a team instead of six individuals on the court.”

Davis noted that a byproduct of limiting substitutions is better chemistry among the players.

“It becomes a little easier to know who your teammate is,” he said. “The person next to you, you know what their tendencies are.”

The Knights were coming off back-to-back losses to Glacier Peak (20-25, 25-23, 17-25, 25-12, 15-10) and league leading Lake Stevens (25-14, 25-14, 19-25, 25-19) before they headed out on the road against Monroe.

“We weren’t worried about making mistakes,” junior Sarah Brachvogel said. “We were determined to win and it was something we wanted really badly. I think all of us really came together that game.”

Brachvogel recorded a match-high 13 kills and teammate Marina Tukan finished with 12 kills against the Bearcats. Sophomore Camryn Woodworth dished out 46 assists.

Kamiak jumped on Mariner early, sprinting to an 8-3 lead in the first set. The Marauders then regrouped and battled the Knights tough in the following set, even taking an 11-10 lead. Kamiak closed out with 15-4 run. The Knights again started out strong in the final set, taking a 7-1 lead.

“We made some adjustments with our blocking,” Mariner coach Julia Riordan said of her team’s performance in the second set. “It got our offense rolling. … I was happy to see our girls get better as the match went on.”

Senior Rachael Hendrickson led the Marauders with six kills.

“She’s been doing a great job,” Riordan said. “Now it’s finding our other hitters and making them more of an offensive threat.”

Tukan recorded nine kills and Grace Forster added five kills. Sophomore setter Adriana Kimpton had 23 assists.

“We know the season hasn’t gone the way we wanted it to,” Brachvogel said. “But I feel we turned it around. … I feel like we’re in an upward trend.”

Davis also likes the direction the Knights are headed.

“I really just want to see them continue to gel and continue to communicate like they are,” he said. “The more communication we’re going to have, the better we’re going to be.”

 

BACK ON THE SIDELINES: Kamiak coach Jason Davis had to miss about two weeks of the season after being diagnosed with throat cancer. Assistant coach Heather Watters guided the Knights in Davis’ absence. Davis returned to the team on Monday, Oct. 15, and coached the Knights to wins over Monroe and Mariner.

The first-year Kamiak coach said that he had surgery to remove a tumor in a lymph node, along with the removal of a tonsil and part of his tongue. Tests indicated were negative other than the one node. “They’re taking a wait-and-see approach,” Davis said. “We’re doing checkups every three months.”

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