Sluggish start hampers Knights | Volleyball

Kamiak drops first two sets to Timberwolves
By David Pan | Sep 29, 2016
Photo by: David Pan Kamiak’s Jaclyn Janczakowski and Lizzie Hedlund go up for a block against Jackson’s Ciarra Choe during a Wesco 4A match Sept. 22 at Kamiak High School.

Kamiak started out slow against arch-rival Jackson and it cost the Knights.

The Timberwolves withstood a late rally to defeat the Knights 25-22, 25-17, 20-25, 25-23 in a Wesco 4A volleyball match Sept. 22 at Kamiak High School.

Jackson jumped out to early leads in the first two sets before Kamiak finally broke through in the third set. At one point in the fourth set, the Knights were ahead by 5 before the Wolfpack finished strongly for the victory.

“When you dig a hole, it’s tough to get out of against a team that is as good as Jackson,” Kamiak coach Greg Post said.

The Knights started to come together in the second set.

“We did feel like we took the momentum in the second game and carried it into the third game,” Post said. “We thought we would be very successful, but we came up a little short tonight.”

Kamiak struggled at times with Jackson’s tips in the fourth set.

“We were slow in reading it,” Post said. “It’s something we’ll go back to the gym and work on.”

Post also wants to see a stronger start from the Knights.

“We’ve got to come out from the get-go, straight out of the shoot and go hard until the referee makes the sign that the match is over,” Post said.

Jackson was glad to prevail in four sets and avoid going to a fifth.

“A fifth set can be dangerous,” Wolfpack coach Mindy Staudinger said.

The Timberwolves’ composure in the fourth set when they were down by 5 points was critical to the victory.

“One of the things we’ve talked about and we’ve been working on is when we start, we’ve got to finish,” Staudinger said. “We need to work on having composure instead of getting rattled. … We didn’t have some for a while and then they regained the composure.”

Staudinger told her players to continue to be aggressive on offense and the Wolfpack responded.

Jackson senior Alex Crittenden said the Wolfpack’s blocking was solid all night.

“We had tons of great blocks,” she said. “Also our passing, our serve-receive was really good the whole match. … That set up rallies that let us win.”

Kamiak was coming off 25-9, 25-20, 25-13 victory over Cascade on Sept. 19.  Katie Peterson recorded 20 kills and Haley Gilbert added 22 digs.

Both Kamiak and Jackson finished the week 2-2 in league and in a four-way tie for third place with Glacier Peak and Mount Vernon. Lake Stevens (4-0) and Monroe (3-1) currently are in first and second place.

Jackson returns only four seniors.

“It is a young team,” Crittenden said. “We’re bonding really well. I think we have great potential for the season.”

Post also is optimistic about the season.

“I think we’ll still be successful, be up in the upper echelon of the conference,” he said. “I believe in the capacities of these kids to learn and to grow.”

Before Thursday’s match, the Timberwolves gave each of the Kamiak players yellow roses and also wore purple ribbons in their hair.

A Kamiak High School student recently committed suicide.

“We wanted to do something to support Kamiak and the school,” Crittenden said. “So we wore purple bows in our hair and that’s why we brought out the yellow roses, which symbolize friendship.”

The players went to Staudinger after hearing the news.

“They came to me in light of the loss of life here that happened and they just really wanted to show support, despite the fact that this is our big rival,” Staudinger said. “In the volleyball community, we care about one another.”

The Knights appreciated the sentiment.
“It was a very touching gesture,” Post said.

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