Tomahawks clip Wildcats

Thursday’s final WesCo North regular season volleyball match at Oak Harbor High School was an important one.

Coming off a three-game loss to league leading Monroe Tuesday evening, the Wildcats were pitted against their old nemesis, Marysville-Pilchuck.

For the past two seasons, the Tomahawks denied Oak Harbor a trip to the post season district tournament, but Thursday’s match was a little different.

Both teams sported 5-1 league records and were guaranteed a trip to the district, and the match was to decide who would be the WesCo North’s number-two and number-three seeds.

As in past seasons, Marysville-Pilchuck proved to be tough to beat on the court and the Wildcats went down to a discouraging 3-1 defeat at the hands of the aggressive Tomahawk team.

“We just didn’t play well. I really don’t have anything else to say other than we didn’t play well,” Oak Harbor coach Kerri Molitor said.

The first game was hotly contested from the opening serve and the score was tied seven times.

It was like both teams were feeling each other out and neither held more than a two-point advantage until the midway point of the game.

With the score knotted 12-12, the Wildcats hit back-to-back balls into the net and followed with an unforced error on the floor to put the Tomahawks in front to stay, 15-12.

Oak Harbor was never able to cut the lead to less than three points and dropped the first game 25-19.

The Wildcats found their rhythm in the second game racing out to a 4-1 lead and at one point held a 21-12 advantage before coming away with a 25-18 win.

“They have some size on their team, but we have size too,” senior Clair Thiel said. “We should have taken those games and we’ll bring it to them at the district.”

With the match tied 1-1, the third game was another hotly contested one.

Oak Harbor went ahead 9-6 before Marysville-Pilchuck scored five straight points to go up 11-9.

The Wildcats fought back and the two teams traded points, but Oak Harbor was never able to get closer than a two-point deficit and lost the third game 25-19.

“I’m really bummed because we fought so hard and worked so hard,” senior Janay Baeyen said. “It was an intense game and the thing about us is we really came back from a low point and didn’t keep our heads down.”

Everything fell apart for Oak Harbor in the fourth game.

Marysville-Pilchuck took an 11-0 lead at the start as the Wildcats couldn’t seem to do anything right on the floor.

“I don’t know what happened, it just shows us what we have to work on before we go to districts,” senior Becca Wheeler said. “It was a good learning experience because all the teams we have to play at the district are higher level teams like Monroe and Marysville-Pilchuck.”

Late in the fourth game Oak Harbor mounted a furious comeback to shave the lead to 20-14, but it was not enough and the Tomahawks came away with a 25-18 victory to win the match.

“It was a pretty tough loss,” Kim Mowbray said. “It was mostly mental errors on our part. Physically we were better than them, but we just didn’t have it tonight.”

Jennifer Jansen led the Wildcats with 14 kills. Thiel added 10 kills and Wheeler had 21 assists.

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