Volleyball ends season with playoff loss to Bellingham

By Oliver Lazenby

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Loanne Martino serving in Blaine’s last regular season game against Lakewood on October 26. Photo by Janell Kortlever.

Blaine varsity volleyball ended its season on Tuesday, November 1, with a 3–0 loss to Bellingham in a district playoff game at Bellingham High School. The young team finished the regular season with a 6–9 record overall, an improvement over last year’s 4–10 record.

“The girls are improving and they’re working really hard,” head coach Bryan Clausen said after the team’s last regular season game on October 26. “They’re doing really well.”

Though the Borderites lost in three sets to Bellingham (8–7 in regular season games) the team had its moments and led much of the first set. The Borderites got out to a 12–6 lead thanks to blocks and kills by Sydney Feenstra, Josie Deming, Kati Newton and Alexis Hallberg, and an ace by Hallberg.

Bellingham closed the gap late in the set and pulled to win 25–22.

Blaine’s defense kept them in the game through the next two sets as Bellingham’s offense came alive, though the Borderites lost the sets 25–16 and 25–12.

“The defense has gotten better throughout the year more than anything else,” Clausen said. “Hitting has improved, but not as much as defense.”

Bellingham shut the door on Blaine in the third set when its libero Sophia Lawrence had three aces in a row on an 8-point scoring run. Libero is a defensive specialist that isn’t limited by the rules of rotation.

Last week, the Borderites suffered a close loss against Lakewood. The game ended in an exciting fourth set that Lakewood won 27–25, giving them a 3–1 win in sets.

In that game, Hallberg had 12 kills, Feenstra had 10 kills and 4 blocks and Loanne Martino had 25 digs.

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