The stakes weren’t the highest, but the intensity was.
Timberline High School assured itself of second place in the 4A Narrows girls volleyball race with a 3-2 victory over an Olympia team inspired by a huge senior crowd.
By the time Blazers star Julianna Salanoa ended a 16-14 fifth set with a second effort kill down the middle, the match had provided thrills and big runs for both teams.
Timberline (8-2 in the 4A Narrows, 8-4 overall) began the match out of sorts and thus out of system, allowing the Bears (7-4, 8-5) to score a decisive 25-14 first-set victory thanks to some big hits by Maddy Reeves and Lauren Wilson. In the second, the Blazers never came closer than three points after the opening moments and fell, 25-19.
“I think it was the big senior night crowd,” said Blazers coach Krista Manke. “It took us out of focus.”
Timberline bounced back to take a 24-13 lead in the third, only to see the Bears rally again behind Reeves and Wilson to score 11 straight points and tie it. But Timerline’s Selina So’oto scored off a block to break the tie and an Olympia error closed it out.
After Timberline won the fourth, the fifth set featured seven lead changes and five ties before Timberline scored the final fourth points to stave off defeat.
“This helps us going into the postseason,” Manke said. “It shows us we can find our way back. We don’t have to tighten up, we can make things happen by being relaxed and focused.”
Timberline - 3
Olympia - 2
Game scores: 14-25, 19-25, 26-24, 25-15, 16-14
Highlights:T- Natalie Stark 45 assists, Juliana Salanoa 21 kills, 4 blocks, Ashley Tiana 12 kills, 15 digs. Kacey Louis 9 kills 2 blocks