Behind a lot of focus and a little help from a rival, the Skyline volleyball team locked up second place in the KingCo 4A on Tuesday night.
The Spartans’ 25-19, 25-16, 25-13 victory over Eastlake, coupled with an Issaquah win over Newport, provided Skyline the second seed and home-court advantage through the first two rounds of the District 2 tournament.
“We just kind of take one match at a time, and we want to win each match,” Skyline coach Mark Peterson said. “We focused on this match. We can’t control anything else.”
The focus paid off as the Spartans dominated through most of the three games. Eastlake led on six separate occasions in the first game, feeding the energy of an animated group of student supporters who made the 1-mile journey up the hill. After trailing 19-17, however, Skyline rattled off eight unanswered points to take the first game. The Spartans never faced a deficit in the remaining two games.
“That’s our goal is to try and get better each time we practice and try to get better each time we play, and they’ve been focused. They’ve been doing it,” Peterson said.
Skyline senior outside hitter Emily Hutchings came up big on senior night, which honored the outgoing Spartans. Hutchings had three of her match-high 12 kills in the eight-point rally in game one, including the game-winning spike.
Six-foot freshman Maddie Magee had 10 of her 11 emphatic kills in the first two games.
“She’s just continuing to get better,” Peterson said. “She’s playing really well.”
All four of Skyline’s seniors contributed on a night they were honored by teammates and fans. Lindsey Kim added four blocks, three aces and 11 digs, while Tinesse Togia and Alex Petroff had 11 and 10 digs, respectively.
Eastlake stayed in the match early in large part to the play of senior outside hitter Lauren Magnus. She had two of her team-high seven kills in the first game, along with three aces. Alyssa Charlston had five blocks for the Wolves, including one stretch of three in a row.
The Wolves were unable to find a groove, however.
“Our consistency has really been up and down,” head coach Gaylene Page said. “Sometimes we play well, sometimes we don’t.”
Despite the loss, Eastlake will enter the District 2 tournament as the No. 6 seed with a 6-5 league record. The Wolves, the only team to beat No. 1 Bothell this season, will face No. 3 seed Issaquah at 5 p.m. on Tuesday at Skyline.
“Now we’ve played everybody. We’ve seen everybody. … You battle for your life and certainly try to do your best,” Page said.
The Spartans, who are 8-2 in league, will face the winner of No. 7 Woodinville and No. 10 Ballard at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
“In this league — the way it’s happened this year — is anybody can beat anybody on any given night, so we’re just trying to peak at the right time,” Peterson said.
Issaquah sweeps aside Newport
The Issaquah volleyball team locked up the third spot in the District 2 tournament Tuesday night, beating Newport 25-21, 25-19, 25-23.
The Eagles (8-2, 10-5) were led by Rachel Roeder’s 16 kills. Sarah Hanna had 10, and Riley Sorenson had 38 assists.
Issaquah opens the district tournament at 5 p.m. on Tuesday against Eastlake at Skyline.