In less than a week, the Shorecrest volleyball team went from facing loser-out consequences to the brink of the state playoffs.
The eighth-ranked Scots followed up a stellar regular season by hammering South Whidbey 25-15, 25-8, 21-21 Monday night in a must-win match to seal their 12th consecutive district berth.
Two days later Shorecrest defeated Bellingham and Cedarcrest in the first two rounds of the Northwest District 3A playoffs to advance to the championship game against Sehome.
The eight-team tournament concludes tomorrow at Ferndale High School. State berths go to the top two finishers.
“A lot of us have been here before and we know how it works. We’ve been here in this sport and other sports. As a team, we’re ready,” senior middle hitter Becky Scherer said after her team’s sweep of South Whidbey.
That victory clinched the Scots (16-1 overall) a No. 2 seed to the district tournament behind Northwest League champion Sehome.
Shorecrest stormed to commanding leads in the first two games and seemed to have South Whidbey scrambling.
“We got a lot of soft blocks,” Scots coach Dave Morehouse said. “They hit a lot of balls off the top of our hands and we dug them up, which is really what we’re trying to do.”
Capitalizing on four errors in a row by the Falcons, Shorecrest setter Anna Herold served out seven points to open the first game.
The Scots pushed their advantage to double digits with an 11-3 run that included spikes from Scherer and Karleen Knudsen and a block by Libby Reynolds.
Again with Herold serving, Shorecrest put together a 10-0 spurt to take control of the second game. Eight of the points came off South Whidbey miscues.
Herold finished with 23 assists, 14 digs and two aces, Emily Gould added seven kills and 12 digs and Knudsen had six kills. Senior libero Lauren Herold paced the Shorecrest defense with 19 digs.
“We were playing our game and we were having fun,” Scherer said. “We always play better when we’re having fun.”
Shorecrest led by as many as 10 in the third game before the Falcons rallied to knot the score at 21. Mary Tseng answered with her only kill of the match and Emily Domingo served out the final three points for the Scots.
Tseng has been nursing a high ankle sprain and missed Shorecrest’s previous match. The junior outside hitter also sat out the first two games against South Whidbey.
“We’d like to be a little healthier,” Morehouse said.
The Scots sailed through the regular season, winning eight of their nine Wesco South matches in three games. Division champion Everett dealt Shorecrest its only defeat in four hard-fought games.
The district playoffs provide the once-beaten Scots a fresh set of foes.
“There are going to be good teams,” Scherer said, “but if we go out and play our game then the wins will come and the points will roll.”