SHORELINE — A familiar foe upset Shorecrest in the opening round of the Northwest District 3A volleyball playoffs.
Western Conference South Division rival Lynnwood shocked the fourth-seeded Scots 13-25, 25-23, 29-27, 18-25, 19-17 Wednesday night at Shorecrest High School to move within one win of clinching the program’s third state berth.
The fifth-seeded Royals will face Northwest 3A League champion Sehome at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Lynden High School in a winner-to-state match. Shorecrest will play Bellingham in a loser-out match at 1 p.m.
The top three finishers from the eight-team district tournament advance to state.
“We played Shorecrest a month ago and we’re not the same team we were a month ago,” Royals coach Jean Kellogg said. “What I really liked was that all my players contributed in this match and contributed phenomenally.”
After falling behind 9-3 in the fifth and final game, Lynnwood charged back with an 11-1 run. Shorecrest answered with a spurt of its own and served for the match at 14-13 and 15-14, but allowed the Royals to even the score on both occasions with a pair of unforced errors.
The two-and-a-half-hour shootout finally came to a close on Lynnwood’s third match point, when the Scots couldn’t corral senior hitter Molly Hunsinger’s booming kill.
“In the four years we’ve gone to districts, this is our first win over Shorecrest,” Kellogg said. “This is huge.”
Shorecrest (11-4 overall) took charge of the opening game with a 12-1 run, but neither team led by more than four in a back-and-forth second game. Lynnwood’s first lead came at 20-19 and it took the Royals four game points to put the Scots away.
The third game also stayed close until Shorecrest used a 7-1 run to stretch its advantage to 20-13. Lynnwood closed the gap to four before the Scots won four of the final five points.
“Both teams were giving their heart and soul and I feel fortunate tonight to come away the lucky one,” Kellogg said.
It’s possible the teams could meet up again in the consolation portion of the double-elimination tournament, a scenario Kellogg wants to avoid.
“I’m hoping we can stay on the other side of the bracket, because I don’t want to come back and play them again,” she said. “That’s a great team right there. They’re going to be at state. They’re that good of a team.”