Knights bounce back

MUKILTEO — One point.

That’s all that separated the Kamiak High School volleyball team from an impressive three-game sweep over the previously unbeaten Shorecrest Scots Thursday night.

But Kamiak wasn’t able to finish it. The Knights lost three straight points to drop game three and faced a possible collapse after getting so close to victory in a key Western Conference South Division match at the Kamiak High gym.

Instead of crumbling, though, Kamiak regrouped and showed why it might be the team to beat in the Wesco South. The Knights bounced back to complete a 3-1 triumph over Shorecrest by game scores of 26-24, 25-23, 24-26 and 25-18.

In a battle between programs that both advanced to the state championships last season — Kamiak in Class 4A and Shorecrest in 3A — Kamiak prevailed in the division opener for both teams after losing a non-division match versus the Scots 3-2 earlier this season.

“We don’t really get scared. After losing (game three) like that — people like to call us the Comeback Kids. We always seem to find a way to go back ahead and get the momentum,” said Kamiak senior Julia Church, a high-flying outside hitter.

Kamiak won two close opening games and took a 24-23 lead in the third game when Mahogany Dodd hit one of her team-best 16 kills on an assist from Devin Larson (three aces, 33 assists).

One point from losing the game and the match, Shorecrest (0-1 Wesco South, 5-1 overall) scored three consecutive points to force a fourth game in the best-of-five battle. Kamiak (1-0, 5-1) hung tough though, building a 6-1 lead in the deciding game en route to victory.

“Kamiak played a good match all the way up and down: good blockers, good hitters (and) good ball control,” said Shorecrest coach Dave Morehouse, whose team had won three straight 4-0 sweeps since it beat Kamiak Sept. 5.

Shorecrest was hurt significantly by not having standout Kerry Clavadetscher, a versatile junior who is out with a torn finger ligament.

“We were just a little short on firepower,” said Morehouse. “We miss her hitting — she’s our best hitter. We miss her blocking — she’s one of our best blockers. And we miss her defense — she’s one of our best defenders.”

Kamiak coach Debra Crawford said her team played much better this time against Shorecrest, especially passing and defending.

One of Kamiak’s defensive stars was Jordan Keller, whose solid play was briefly marred by a scary moment. During a Knights’ celebration near the net after Church drilled a kill in game three, one of Keller’s teammates accidentally hit Keller in the head with an elbow. The 6-foot-3 Keller crumpled to the floor and stayed on her knees for several minutes but was checked out by a trainer and later returned to the game.

“I thought she had blacked out. It really frightened me,” Crawford said. “Her eyes had a real glossy look to them.”

Keller, who verbally committed to play volleyball at Seattle University, will be a key contributor in Kamiak’s quest to win its first Wesco South title since 2005 and return to the state tourney.

“We’re going after that league title,” said Crawford. “We want it.”

Other Kamiak leaders included Melissa Fredericks (19 digs) and Kierra Riley (10 kills). Shorecrest was led by Anna Herold (24 assists, 10 kills), Jamie McDonald (nine kills, four blocks) and Lauren Deatrick (23 digs, two aces).

Contact Herald Writer Mike Cane at For more high school sports news, check out the prep sports blog Double Team at

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