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Sports roundup: Finally, some answers to prep postseason positioning

WWU women's soccer stays hot, volleyball splits Alaskan road matches

Sehome's Katherine Quinn fights to get to the ball Oct. 3 between Ferndale's Kasey O'Neill
Sehome's Katherine Quinn fights to get to the ball Oct. 3 between Ferndale's Kasey O'Neill (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)
By Connor J. Benintendi Sports Editor

Only a few prep volleyball and girls soccer regular season matches remain as district tournament brackets are nearly set. Boys tennis has concluded until the spring state tournament, and most girls swim teams remained idle ahead of districts beginning on Friday, Nov. 3.

Western Washington University women’s soccer has continued its hot streak, winning five of its last six games, while the Vikings’ volleyball team split their two matches on their annual Alaskan road trip.

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

Girls soccer

The regular season will end with the NWC girls soccer standings remaining extremely top-heavy. Six teams will finish the regular season with at least 10 wins, while four will complete their seasons with five or fewer.

Ferndale (13-1-2, 9-1-2 NWC), Sehome (11-1-3, 8-1-1 NWC) and Bellingham (10-2-3, 7-1-2 NWC) have sustained a tier of their own.

The Golden Eagles earned the No. 3 seed in the 3A District 1 tournament following a 2-1 win in their final regular season match against Oak Harbor (10-5-1, 6-5-1 NWC) on Tuesday, Oct. 24. Ferndale has won its last six matches by a combined score of 23-1.

Sehome secured the top seed in the 2A District 1 tournament after winning its final four matches of the regular season, and the Mariners will play No. 8 Sedro-Woolley (6-8-3, 1-7-2 NWC) in the first round on Thursday, Oct. 26. 

No. 5 Lynden (10-3-3, 6-2-2 NWC) may see Sehome in the district semifinals if it can get past No. 4 Archbishop Murphy in the first round on Thursday, Oct. 26. The Lions enter the tournament after winning seven of their last nine matches, closing out the regular season with a 5-1 win over Sedro-Woolley on Saturday, Oct. 21. 


Bellingham finished its regular season schedule with two straight wins, and the Bayhawks secured the No. 2 seed in the 2A District 1 tournament. They will face No. 7 Burlington-Edison (8-6-2, 4-4-2 NWC) on Thursday, Oct. 26.

In Class 1A, Meridian (9-5-1, 6-1-1 NWC) finished its regular season schedule with five consecutive wins, but the Trojans’ seed in the 1A District 1 tournament will be decided by Lynden Christian.

LC (7-8, 6-1-0 NWC) can secure the top seed with a win over Mount Baker (1-9, 1-7 NWC) on Wednesday, Oct. 25. The Lyncs, who are 7-1 in their last eight games, have outscored their opponents 31-1 over that stretch.

The 1A District 1 tournament begins with the play-in round on Saturday, Oct. 28.

Volleyball

photo  All eyes are on Meridian’s Grace Wells as she sets the ball for a teammate Oct. 11 during a match against Lynden. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  

Lynden (15-1, 14-0 NWC) is one win away from securing its second straight league title. 

The Lions swept Burlington-Edison on Thursday, Oct. 19 to gain sole possession of first place, and a win over Anacortes on Oct. 25 would award them the championship. It would also be the first time Lynden has gone undefeated in its league schedule since 2008.

With 2A District 1 losing a state allocation (from three to two) for the 2023–24 season, it’s certain at least one team that would be competitive in the state tournament will not reach the dance.

Only two teams among Burlington-Edison (16-1, 14-1 NWC), Sehome (12-2, 12-2 NWC), Anacortes (11-4, 10-4 NWC) and Lynden will advance out of districts, which begin on Saturday, Oct. 28.

Sehome has won three in a row, most recently defeating Lynden Christian (9-9, 7-8 NWC) on Monday, Oct. 23. The Mariners have won double-digit games versus league opponents for the first time since 2014 and are still at risk of not making it as the district tournament’s likely No. 3 seed.

Meridian (13-4, 11-4 NWC) is leading all NWC teams in Class 1A, and the Trojans concluded their regular season on Tuesday, Oct. 24 with a sweep of Sedro-Woolley (1-14, 1-13 NWC). After a fast start, Meridian is 4-3 over its last six games with losses to Lynden, Sehome and Nooksack Valley.

1A District 1 has two berths to the state tournament, and Nooksack Valley (10-5, 10-5 NWC) currently looks like the favorite to claim the other state bid. The Pioneers have won eight of their last 10 games heading into districts.

LC lost four of its last five to close out the regular season, and the Lyncs lost their final match ahead of the postseason, 3-1, to Sehome on Monday, Oct. 23. Despite that, LC has secured the No. 3 seed in the district tournament.

Ferndale (8-7, 8-6 NWC) is the lone Class 3A team in Whatcom County, which means it’ll be in a much larger district bracket. The 3A District 1 tournament has four berths for 12 teams, which still gives the Golden Eagles a chance to advance. Ferndale will close out its regular season versus Sehome on Oct. 25.

WWU

Women’s soccer

photo  Western Washington University’s Morgan Manalili slides while sending the ball toward the goal Oct. 7 against Northwest Nazarene University. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  

Western women’s soccer has hit its late-season stride. The Vikings (8-3-4, 6-1-3 GNAC) have won five of their last six, and they haven’t lost since Sept. 30. They have also been on the road in their last four matches, making the recent success even more encouraging.

The Vikings’ last match was a 4-0 win over Central Washington (3-11-1, 2-7-1 GNAC) on Saturday, Oct. 21 — their largest margin of victory so far this year.

Sophomore Morgan Manalili netted her team-high fourth goal of the season and assisted on another. Fellow sophomores Claire Potter and Minji Rauch also scored, while junior Gracen Crosby also added a goal.

Western’s next game is a crucial home match versus Western Oregon (7-3-4, 4-3-3 GNAC) at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26. That match is the first of four straight at home for the Vikings to close out the regular season.

Volleyball

The Vikings’ volleyball team split their matches on Western’s annual Alaskan road trip. Despite losing three of its last five matches, Western (7-12, 7-4 GNAC) is holding strong in a three-way tie for second place in the conference alongside Central Washington and Simon Fraser.

Western was swept by Alaska Fairbanks (12-13, 5-6 GNAC) on Thursday, Oct. 19 before beating Alaska Anchorage (12-14, 4-7 GNAC) by the same result two days later.

Sophomore outside hitter Devyn Oestreich recorded a team-high 10 kills and 14 digs for the Vikings in the latter contest, continuing her breakout season with another sound performance.

Redshirt freshman setter Caroline Hansen logged a team-high 20 assists, while sophomore starter Adele Holland finished with 18.

Western’s next match will be a home contest versus Simon Fraser (12-7, 7-4 GNAC) at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28 — the beginning of three straight at Carver Gym.

Girls soccer standings — Oct. 25

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

Volleyball standings — Oct. 25

Volleyball
League Overall
Team W-L W-L
Lynden 15-0 16-1
Burlington-Edison 14-1 16-1
Sehome 12-3 12-3
Meridian 11-4 13-4
Anacortes 10-5 11-5
Nooksack Valley 10-5 10-5
Ferndale 9-6 9-7
Oak Harbor 8-7 8-7
Lakewood 7-8 8-9
Lynden Christian 7-8 9-9
Bellingham 6-9 6-9
Blaine 5-10 5-10
Mount Vernon 3-12 3-14
Squalicum 2-13 2-13
Sedro-Woolley 1-14 1-15
Mount Baker 0-15 0-17

Standings were updated at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26 to include results from Wednesday night’s games.

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