Lynnwood senior Charlie Thomas begins her serve during a Class 3A District 1 volleyball match against Shorecrest on Thursday at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Lynnwood senior Charlie Thomas begins her serve during a Class 3A District 1 volleyball match against Shorecrest on Thursday at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Lynnwood sweeps Shorecrest in district semis, secures state berth

The unbeaten Royals use a balanced effort to move on to the Class 3A District 1 title match.

MARYSVILLE — For the second straight season, Lynnwood will pack up to play in the Class 3A state volleyball tournament.

The Royals’ undefeated 2023 campaign continued as they swept Shorecrest 25-11, 25-20, 25-14 in a non-elimination, winner-to-state 3A District 1 semifinal match Thursday at Marysville Pilchuck High School.

The victory marked Lynnwood’s second state berth after a 20-year playoff drought.

“I have no words,” Lynnwood head coach Annalise Mudaliar said after the win. “They are a such a special group of girls who’ve worked so hard the last few years to leave a legacy behind that matters to them and the community. The work they’ve put in, the love they have for each other, they’ve done everything the right way, and that’s what I’m most proud of.”

The Royals deep unit didn’t have many weak spots to exploit. Lynnwood (19-0) thwarted the Scots’ second-set rally, when Shorecrest tied it 18-18, and took seven of the next nine points to lead 2-0.

Junior outside hitter Sammy Holmer was in top form, slamming down 15 kills and adding 15 digs.

Lynnwood outside hitter Sammy Holmer goes for a kill during a Class 3A District 1 volleyball match against Shorecrest on Thursday at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Lynnwood outside hitter Sammy Holmer goes for a kill during a Class 3A District 1 volleyball match against Shorecrest on Thursday at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Senior Paige Gessey racked up 15 kills, four digs and two aces, and senior Charlie Thomas offered 38 assists and 10 digs.

Senior Hannah Johnson and sophomore Makena Kaleo added seven kills a piece.

“We are what we like to call: 14 strong,” Mudaliar said. “From the people on the bench to people on the court, we are 14 strong and it’s taken every single one of us to have the success that we’ve had.”

As the top-seeded Royals look forward to another big test and a district championship matchup with No. 2 Shorewood (18-2) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Marysville Pilchuck, Holmer feels like the group has a collective mindset.

“I just love the determination that everyone has right now,” Holmer said. “Everybody knows what we want, we have the same goal and we know what we need to do to get there. Working as a team has been a big goal this season, and we’ve accomplished it.”

The Scots (15-5) will play in a winner-to-state, loser-out match against sixth-seeded Ferndale on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Marysville Pilchuck.

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