Oly volleyball plays host

Oly senior libero Cayla Lawson serves against Capital Wednesday. The Lady Trojans were swept 3-0, but are seeded No. 2 for districts. - Jesse Beals/staff photo
Oly senior libero Cayla Lawson serves against Capital Wednesday. The Lady Trojans were swept 3-0, but are seeded No. 2 for districts.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/staff photo

The table is set for Olympic volleyball.

With the No. 2 seed and essentially home-court advantage for the Class 3A West Central/Southwest District volleyball tournament, which begins today in the pavilion at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds, the Lady Trojans expect to make a deep postseason run.

“We definitely want to make it to state, and we’re going to go in with that attitude,” senior setter Chelsea Brustad said Wednesday following the team’s 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-16) loss against Capital.

The Capital loss, which determined the combined OWL (Olympic Western League) No. 1 seed, was a rare setback for Olympic (11-5 overall, 9-2 league). The Lady Trojans entered the game with momentum, coming off a one-game playoff victory against North Kitsap that secured the 3A Olympic League regular season title.

“They are a quality team,” Oly coach Keith Peden said of Capital.

The Cougars (12-2, 6-0) answered every Trojan’s challenge Wednesday, digging spikes, finishing long rallies with kills, passing the ball and keeping plays alive.

“I was really impressed with their passing, they pass very well,” Peden said. “They found ways of being aggressive, and we sometimes weren’t as aggressive as I’d like to have been.”

And unforced errors throughout the match, particularly on service, made it nearly impossible for Oly to combat Capital’s consistent play.

The Cougars secured a 13-6 lead and eventual first-game win before Oly found a rhythm. Then, with the score tied 13-13 in the second game, Oly committed consecutive service errors, which Capital converted into six straight points to put the game away. Finally, the Lady Trojans lost an early 7-3 lead in Game 3, letting Capital tie the score 11-11 after which it scored nine of the next 12 points.

“We didn’t find ways of hitting the ball at them and getting them out of their offense,” Peden said. “When you run into a good team and let them run their offense, it makes for a long night.”

“We lost communication out there, we don’t play like that,” Brustad added. “Tonight we just didn’t have the communication we needed, or the team unity.”

So, Oly is No. 2 instead of No. 1 for districts, with a first-round match against Lakes (9-6, 5-3) at 1:30 p.m. today.

Peden said his team needs to rebound from Wednesday’s loss and regroup because the district tournament is full of teams as good — and possibly better — than Capital.

“There’s going to be a whole pavilion full of good teams,” he said.

Coupled with the No. 2 seed, Oly has the luxury of playing the district tournament across the street from its home gym, making for a large fan base and a huge advantage.

“It helps so much,” Brustad said. “We don’t have to get up early, we don’t have to drive anywhere, we’re going to have our amazing fans there. We’re going to have confidence, and we’re going to work as hard as we can to win the next two matches.”

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