By Chris Trujillo
EDMONDS – It hasn’t exactly been a stellar season for the Edmonds Community College volleyball team. However, the Tritons, who’ve posted a mediocre 5-7 record, are still in position to snare a playoff spot with a victory over Skagit Valley College.
The two teams, who split their regular season series, occupy the fourth and fifth spots in the division with identical records and will face off in a mini-playoff , 6 p.m. Friday at Bellevue Community College.
Meanwhile, Olympic, the sixth-place team will play third-place Bellevue. The winners of each game will play each other to decide the Nos. 3 and 4 playoff seeds.
“The No. 3 and No. 4 game basically decides which team will go on to play Mount Hood,” said EdCC coach Bill Kellogg. “And Mount Hood, I believe, ranks in the top 10 in the country. So, it would be a big game.”
But first, the Tritons must find a way to beat Skagit Valley, possibly without their top middle player, 6-foot-2 sophomore sensation Linnett Rain. Rain may miss Friday’s game because of an ankle injury she suffered last week in a 3-2 loss to Skagit Valley in the regular season finale.
Rain, a Lopez High School graduate, is a multiple NWAACC Athlete of the Week winner on offense and defense. Prior to the Skagit Valley loss, when she had 11 kills and five blocks, Rain had amassed 72 kills stretching back six games to early October.
Her best game, statistically, came on Halloween night when she delivered 23 kills and five blocks. EdCC defeated Olympic in that game to stay one game ahead in the standings.
“We don’t know, she might be ready to go on Friday, but we’re not sure,” Kellogg said. “If we don’t, we’ll have to change our whole approach. We’ll have to move our game to the outside instead of the middle. It will be a faster offense, and not as much power.”
Old familiar places for EdCC women: The scenery hasn’t changed since the last time the Edmonds Community College women’s soccer team had a lofty view atop of the Northeast Division. For the second time in as many years, the team is entering the postseason as division champions.
An impressive five-game winning streak to end the regular season enabled the Tritons (13-2-1) to squeak past North Idaho by one point (12-1-3) for first place, with 40 points. In their last two games, the Tritons shut out Everett 4-0 and Walla Walla 3-0.
EdCC will defend its championship crown Sunday at home in the quarterfinals against the Southwest Division’s fourth-place team, Lower Columbia, which finished the year 7-4-3, and went 1-1-2 in its final four games. The two teams have yet to play each other this season.
EdCC men are erasing the past: The sour taste of last year’s 16-1 season still lingers for the Edmonds Community College men’s soccer team. A championship season in the making quickly became a bitter disappointment after losing in the first round of the playoffs.
This year, things are different. For starters, the Tritons aren’t entering the postseason as the No. 1 seed.
But, more importantly, they’re not boasting a perfect record for any deep-seated team to shatter. In fact, EdCC finished the year 13-3-2 with 41 points, five behind first place North Idaho.
The Tritons, who finished the season having won eight of their last 10 games, will square off Sunday at home against the Southwest Division’s third-seeded team, Southwest Oregon, which finished the season 12-4-4.
EdCC is showcasing the league’s best goal scorer in Ryan Hopp, who found the back of the net 22 times this season. The Tritons also own the league’s eighth-best goal scorers, freshman Simo Farah and sophomore Patrick Pollock. Both finished the season with 11 goals.
So close, yet so far away for Everett men: The Everett Community College men’s soccer team wasn’t going to contend for a championship this season, but just claiming a victory or two would be good. That feat finally came in a 5-2 victory over Peninsula last week, which snapped EvCC’s horrid 17-game losing streak.
Sophomore Al Corchado scored three goals in the victory and increased the team’s goal output to 18. Opponents scored 92 goals against EvCC. Everett finished the year 1-17.