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Sports roundup: Prep regular season nears a close with much to still be decided

WWU teams see highs, lows and everything in between

Lynden's Finley Parcher bumps the ball over the net Sept. 6 during a match against Sehome. The Lions have won their last nine matches
Lynden's Finley Parcher bumps the ball over the net Sept. 6 during a match against Sehome. The Lions have won their last nine matches (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)
By Connor J. Benintendi Sports Editor

Entering the final week of the regular season, prep volleyball and girls soccer have multiple teams vying for Northwest Conference championships.

Western Washington University women’s soccer team has enjoyed ample recent success while the men’s team has hit a rough patch. The Vikings’ volleyball program has been somewhere in the middle, rebounding from consecutive five-set losses to earn a big recent victory.

For everything prep football-related, see this week’s football forecast.

Here’s everything else you may have missed from the last week in fall sports.

Prep

Volleyball

photo  Nooksack Valley’s Grace DeHoog spikes the ball past Bellingham’s Meyesha Riviere Oct. 4 during a match against the Bayhawks. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  

Lynden (13-1, 12-0 NWC) and Burlington-Edison (14-0, 12-0 NWC) are primed to decide the league title this Thursday, Oct. 19 at Lynden High School.

Assuming neither team collapses before or after the match, the winner of that contest will emerge as the title winner. Lynden is seeking its second-consecutive league championship after beating Burlington-Edison in five sets a year ago.

The Lions have continued to look unstoppable. They have swept their last nine opponents, won 12 of their 14 matches in straight sets and lost just four sets all season (41-4 season set record).

In Lynden’s most recent win, a sweep of Mount Baker (0-14, 0-12 NWC) on Monday, Oct. 16, senior outside hitter Haylee Koetje tallied a season-high 18 kills and 11 digs. Senior setter Grace Rice finished with 27 assists and fellow senior libero Mya VanderYacht had 13 aces.

Meridian (11-3, 9-3 NWC) and Sehome (10-2, 10-2 NWC) are still in contention for the league title at this point, but each would need consecutive losses from Lynden or Burlington-Edison to have a realistic shot. 


The Trojans bounced back from their loss to Lynden on Oct. 11 by sweeping Blaine (3-9, 3-9 NWC) on Monday. Meridian’s outside hitters shined, as freshman Eden Bernardy and senior Emry Claeys combined for 30 kills and 26 digs. Sophomore setter Grace Wells also notched 33 assists.

Nooksack Valley (8-4, 8-4 NWC) has found its stride, winning six of its last seven games. The Pioneers’ only loss since Sept. 25 was a 3-1 loss to Oak Harbor on Oct. 10, and they swept their last two opponents (Lakewood and Squalicum).

Ferndale (7-6, 7-5 NWC) has also been hot late in the season, winning five of its last six matches. The Golden Eagles swept Mount Baker on Oct. 11 but lost to Burlington-Edison on Tuesday, Oct. 17.

Girls soccer

photo  Sehome’s Madison Goodman and Ferndale’s Audrey Kallin battle for the ball along the sideline Oct. 3 during a 2-2, late-season draw between the Northwest Conference’s top teams. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  

Sehome (10-1-3, 7-1-1 NWC) has nabbed a slight edge over Ferndale (10-1-2, 6-1-2 NWC) in the 2A/3A NWC standings following its 5-0 win over Squalicum (2-11-0, 1-6-0) on Monday, Oct. 16, marking its third straight win.

The Mariners have a chance to close out the regular season on a four-game win streak when they face Burlington-Edison (7-4-2, 3-2-2 NWC) on Saturday, Oct. 21.

Ferndale has also won three in a row, and the Golden Eagles obliterated Nooksack Valley, 10-0, in a non-league game on Monday, Oct. 16. They have outscored opponents 46-10 this year heading into a match with Lakewood (3-9-0, 1-7-0 NWC) on Thursday, Oct. 19.

Bellingham (8-2-3, 5-1-2 NWC) and Lynden (9-2-3, 5-1-2 NWC) are also in the running for, at the very least, a share of the 2A/3A league title with three games remaining in their regular season schedules. The Lions and Bayhawks tied, 2-2, on Tuesday, Oct. 17.

Lynden has been rolling since a Sept. 25 loss to Sehome, and the Lions were winners of six in a row, all via shutout, before the draw with Bellingham.

In Class 1A, Meridian (8-5-1, 5-1-1 NWC) and Lynden Christian (6-7-0, 5-0-0 NWC) are entering a jam at the top of the 1A NWC standings. 

LC has won six straight after beginning the season 0-7 and, much like Lynden, has done so via shutouts in each match. The Lyncs have outscored their last six opponents 30-0. Meridian and LC will face off for the 1A NWC title on Thursday.

WWU

Volleyball

photo  Western Washington University’s Delaney Speer taps the ball past a Saint Martin’s player Thursday, Oct. 12 during a match against the Saints. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  

Following consecutive five-set losses, Western (6-11, 6-3 GNAC) got back on track with a 3-1 win over Western Oregon (8-9, 2-7 GNAC) on Saturday, Oct. 14.

Junior Gabby Kepley finished with a game-high 15 kills and also added six digs. Redshirt freshman Delaney Speer added 13 kills and 11 digs, while fellow redshirt freshman and Meridian High School alum Finnley Claeys notched a team-high 17 digs. Sophomore Adele Holland also added 34 assists.

The Vikings will now embark on a two-game Alaskan road trip, first facing the University of Alaska Fairbanks on Thursday, Oct. 19 before heading to the University of Alaska Anchorage on Saturday, Oct. 21.

Women’s soccer

Western women’s soccer (7-3-3, 5-1-2 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) has found its late-season groove, winning four straight matches since Oct. 5 by a combined score of 8-3. 

Morgan Manalili, the 2022 GNAC Freshman of the Year, continued her exceptional sophomore season in the Vikings’ 2-1 win over Simon Fraser on Saturday, Oct. 14 by scoring both of Western’s goals.

Manalili and freshman Mie Cairns are tied for the team lead with three goals, while Manalili is also tied for second on the team with two assists. Junior Halle Noel leads Western with three assists on the season.

Western, which sits in second place in the GNAC standings, will host fifth-place Northwest Nazarene (4-4-4, 2-4-2 GNAC) on Thursday, Oct. 19.

Men’s soccer

photo  Western Washington University’s Ryan Rotter heads the ball Sept. 28 against a Saint Martin’s University player. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  

The Vikings have hit a rough patch. Western men’s soccer (4-5-2, 1-3-1 GNAC) has struggled since beginning its league schedule on Sept. 28, notching just one win in three weeks. 

Sophomore Albin Jonsson, who leads the team with five goals, hasn’t scored since Sept. 16, when he scored both of the Vikings’ goals in a 2-0 win over Regis University.

Western’s most recent game was a 2-1 loss to Western Oregon (8-3-1, 4-1-1 GNAC) where sophomore Ryan Rotter scored the Vikings’ lone goal. After a week off, Western will host Montana State University Billings (4-6-1, 1-4-0 GNAC) on Thursday, Sept. 19.

Girls soccer standings — Oct. 18

Girls soccer League Overall
Team W-L-T W-L-T
Sehome 7-1-1 10-1-3
Ferndale 6-1-2 10-1-2
Lynden 5-1-2 9-2-3
Bellingham 5-1-2 8-2-3
Oak Harbor 5-4-1 9-4-1
Meridian 5-1-1 8-5-1
Lynden Christian 5-0-0 6-7-0
Burlington-Edison 4-2-2 8-4-2
Anacortes 3-3-1 7-5-1
Mount Vernon 3-7-0 4-9-0
Blaine 2-3-1 3-5-2
Sedro-Woolley 1-6-1 5-7-2
Squalicum 1-6-0 2-11-0
Nooksack Valley 1-5-0 1-12-0
Mount Baker 1-6-0 1-8-0
Lakewood 1-8-0 3-10-0

Volleyball standings — Oct. 12

Volleyball
League Overall
Team W-L W-L
Burlington-Edison 12-0 14-0
Lynden 12-0 13-1
Sehome 10-2 10-2
Anacortes 9-3 10-3
Meridian 9-4 11-4
Nooksack Valley 9-4 9-4
Ferndale 7-5 7-6
Lynden Christian  6-6 8-7
Oak Harbor 6-6 6-6
Lakewood 5-7 6-8
Bellingham 5-7 5-7
Blaine 4-9 4-9
Mount Vernon 3-9 3-11
Squalicum 2-11 2-11
Sedro-Woolley 0-13 0-14
Mount Baker 0-13 0-15

Standings were updated at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19 to reflect outcomes from matches on Wednesday, Oct. 18.

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