By Oliver Lazenby
Blaine’s volleyball team is “working through some youthfulness,” and after a strong showing against Sedro-Woolley in its first game, lost to Sehome and Anacortes in a pair of 3–0 games in the last week.
The team had a hard time communicating in last Thursday’s game against Sehome (2–1, 1–1 in conference games), but gradually improved throughout Tuesday’s game against Anacortes (1–2, 1–1 in conference games), finishing the last set trailing 25–21.
“I think we’ll build on that momentum and do really well on Thursday against Mount Baker,” said head coach Bryan Clausen. “There are still some things we’re working on but overall we’re doing a better job. All-around they’re going the right direction.”
Clausen said he isn’t worried about the team’s passing overall, though he acknowledged they had a tough time on Thursday. In an attempt to get in the groove, he switched from a 6–2 to a 5–1 system – one in which the team used just one setter rather than two, which simplifies passing and communication.
The Borderites lost that game 25–19, 25–20 and 25–6. Sehome started the third set with a nine-point rally and Blaine never recovered. Clausen, who looked serious while talking to the team in timeouts in the first two sets, was laughing by the third.
“I was trying to get them to relax,” he said after the game.
Standouts in that game included Alexis Hallberg, who had six kills, and Zoey Eberle, who made assists.
The team stuck with a 6–2 system against Anacortes this week, a sign of clearer communication between the two setters and the rest of the team.
The Borderites also improved on errors from last week to this week. Against Sedro-Woolley, they made 18 hitting errors and 14 passing errors. “A lot of girls minimized their errors [this week against Anacortes],” Clausen said. “That’s why it was a closer match.
The Borderites’ next game is at home on Thursday, September 22, against Mount Baker.