After two-game split, Lady Trojans face loser-out match today.

Olympic’s Ashley Pajimula bumps a return in a match against Capital earlier this season. The Lady Trojans play a loser-out match against Kennedy at 10 a.m. today. - Jesse Beals/file photo
Olympic’s Ashley Pajimula bumps a return in a match against Capital earlier this season. The Lady Trojans play a loser-out match against Kennedy at 10 a.m. today.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/file photo

For Olympic girls volleyball, the season boils down to this: a loser-out match against the sixth-ranked team in the state in arguably Kitsap County’s most anticipated sporting event of 2008, the West Central District volley-ball tournament.

But no pressure.

The Lady Trojans open the second — and final — weekend of district play at the Fairgrounds’ pavilion with a do-or-die match against Kennedy (18-2) at 10 a.m. today.

“We’re putting together a game plan,” coach Keith Peden said Thursday. “I expect us to play well.”

Oly is in the loser-out predicament because of a first-round loss against Lakes Nov. 8 in which Peden said the team showed little urgency.

“For some reason we didn’t come out as energetic as I thought we should have,” he said. “We just didn’t quite get the energy out of it.”

But Olympic rebounded to beat Evergreen 3-1 in a loser-out match later that day, advancing in the consolation bracket.

“We knew we had to win that one,” Peden said. “I still think we could have played better.”

Megan Rainey anchored Oly’s offense, leading the team with 24 total kills in the two matches, while senior libero Kayla Lawson notched 41 digs.

“Kayla had a real good day on defense,” Peden said.

Both Rainey and Lawson are going to need big games to give Oly a chance against Kennedy, which entered districts favored to reach state. An upset loss to Auburn Mountainview after a first-round victory against Timberline put Kennedy in the consolation bracket.

“They are a quality team, but it’s a team that is beatable if we run our game plan,” Peden said. “Hopefully we’re going to come out and execute.”

While the Lady Trojans would be eliminated with a loss, a win would give them two chances to earn a state bid.

The Oly-Kennedy winner faces the winner of the Camas-Capital match, also being played at 10 a.m. today, in a winner-to-state match for the No. 4 or No. 5 seed (determined by a coin flip) at 2 p.m. The loser of that match plays a loser-out, winner-to-state match for the No. 7 seed against the loser of the other No. 4/No. 5 match at 6 p.m..

“You have to beat Kennedy,” Peden said, “then you’ve got two chances (to make state).”

With the tournament being played across the street from their home gym, everybody assumed the Lady Trojans owned an advantage over the rest of the field. But Peden said the home-court advantage actually backfired.

“I expected that it would (help), but it was almost the opposite,” he said. “Maybe we almost felt a little too comfortable.”

The Lady Trojans have one match, and possibly two or three, to right the ship.

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