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Wolverines Start Strong at State

Bellevue Outlasts Arlington in 5-set Thriller

The Bellevue Wolverine volleyball team, after surviving two amazing district five set thrillers, earned a bid to the state tournament in Kennewick. The team took the 4 hour bus ride to the Tri-Cities Friday evening in preparation of their 1:30 game at the Toyota Center versus #5 ranked Arlington.

Bellevue started slow versus Arlington, which had only lost 2 games all season entering the game. Callie Weber followed a kill with an ace to close the gap to 6-8. AHS opened up a decent led but BHS came back and after an Alexis Khuu ace closed the gap to 19-22, Arlington pulled away taking game one, 19-25.

The slow start trend continued as BHS fell behind 0-5 and 3-10 before a Weber kill stopped the bleeding. AHS had as much as a 9 point lead before BHS made a late run. A Jenna Keenan ace closed the gap to 19-23, but Arlington took the game, 20-25.

One thing we have learned is an early deficit doesn’t faze this team and they came out hot in game three. A Naomi Chen-Mallouk Kill, followed by a Holly Huard smash, led to an AHS timeout when Khuu aced giving the Wolverines a 5-1 lead. But, the early lead evaporated until Sophia Knapp took the serve and went on a run that ended with an ace giving BHS a 9-7 lead. Bellevue was finding their groove and stretched the lead to 17-10 after a Huard spike. Ally Witham got a thunder kill to go up 23-12 and BSH finished it off, 25-15.

In game 4, a Witham kill gave BHS a 6-5 lead and Huard to the serve. She went on a 5 point run that included two aces. The Wolverines were well on their way to tying up this match up a 2-2. They were wide awake now playing their scrappy ball with Emily Burns, Witham, Knapp, and Weber manning the backline. Fittingly, Huard finished it off with a hit off the block for a 25-18 win.

The deciding game 5 was a nail biter early. A Weber kill tied it at 6. Witham dove to save a tip and the ball went all the way over the heads of the AHS players. Weber got kills on three of the next for serves and BHS had opened up an 11-6 lead. Huard buried one down the line to put BHS on the brink up 14-8. Arlington came storming back and after they closed the gap to 14-12 coach Kalingo took a time out. Knapp received the next serve, passed to Khuu, who set Chen-Mallouk. Naomi, flying a foot above the block, took it straight down and BHS took the game and match, 15-12.

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