EHS VOLLEYBALL: Hornet rally falls short of 3A state

The Enumclaw High volleyball team might have peaked during the West Central III/Southwest IV District volleyball tournament at Auburn Mountainview, but came up short. Losing two of three matches, the Hornets saw their season come to a close.

The Hornet girls took tournament’s eventual No. 1 seed, Camas High, to three sets during their initial match Friday, but lost to the Papermakers and fell into the loser’s bracket right away.

Enumclaw got off to a slow start and wound up losing 25-16, 25-23 and 26-24.

“The girls wanted to hang their heads after losing to Camas, but I told them that there are two directions you can go, negative or positive,” coach Jackie Carel said. “Thankfully they opted for the positive direction at the fork in the road, as they spent the next few hours getting psyched up to beat Evergreen.”

The silver lining found in the loss to Camas was that after a regular season of struggling with inconsistency, senior leaders Julie Sanders, Breanna Price, Jessica Decker, Jamie Emerson and Hayley Kohler helped pull the team together. Additionally, sophomore HayleeMae Dennis had nine kills against Camas.

In the ensuing rendezvous with Evergreen High of the Seamount League, the Hornets lit up the hardwood, beating the Wolverines in four games 25-14, 25-19, 21-25 and 25-18.

“We sort of faltered as we got a little complacent in the third game,” Carel said. “But we came rallying right back to snuff them out by seven points in game four and that really unified us.”

Seniors Price and Emerson combined for 18 kills against Evergreen and junior setter Gina Sanders recorded 41 assists, the most she had notched in a single match all season.

The Hornets showed up armed for volleyball war against Columbia River Saturday morning but were eliminated when the Chieftains prevailed 25-20, 19-25, 22-25, 25-17 and 15-9.

“The girls wanted to return to state so bad and they had really improved as a team in the last two weeks, but in this tournament format you have to win two before you lose two,” Carel said. “We just got too far back in that sudden death set (11-3) and couldn’t recover.

“I was so proud of my Hornet ladies for how they finished the season,” she said. “I truly think they played their best volleyball of the season in those last three matches at the district tourney.”

The Hornets finished the season with an overall record of 13-8.