Cats drop out of post season hunt

"During a pivotal fourth game of Oak Harbor’s match against Sehome on Thursday, Valerie Hartman dove with one fist stretched out and hit the gym floor at the same time as the ball. Trying to save a ball that was just out of her reach, Hartman exhibited how much she wanted a win for her senior teammates in their final home game. The play was indicative of the night for the Wildcats as they jumped out to a 2-1 lead but failed to put the Mariners away, losing 3-2.The final home game also proved to be an emotional one, as all the players on the team except Hartman are seniors. “I felt kind of left out,” said Hartman. “I have played with them ever since I was a freshman and moved up on JV with them. After playing three years it’s kind of hard to see them all leave.” In the first game it looked as if Oak Harbor (3-6, 4-10) may wipe the floor with the Mariners (5-4, 9-4), winning the first game 15-7 and finishing on a 10-1 run. The second game was determined by momentum and the fact that the Wildcats never put together enough of a run to gain a lead. Down 11-5, the Wildcats went on a tear to pull the game to within two points, but the Mariners slipped ahead and won 15-10 to tie the match.“We were just up and down because of really good rallies,” said head coach Kerri Molitor. The win for Sehome carried over to the third game as the Mariners jumped out to a 13-9 lead and the Wildcats looked as if they would crumble under the pressure. But Oak Harbor went on a 6-0 romp to win the game 15-13, and take the lead back. The fourth game was the Cats undoing, as Sehome forced Oak Harbor to play catch-up the entire game. When the Wildcats finally caught the Mariners at 14-14 they had the serve. But the Cats couldn’t capitalize and lost the serve. “I was anxious,” said Hartman. “The whole team was kind of struggling because we are not used to being in that position.”The pressure on the ensuing serves became too great for the Wildcats as they dropped the next two points to lose and send the match to a fifth game. The Cats battled, but lost the final game and match. Afterward, Oak Harbor players didn’t hang their heads.“We knew this was our last game and we just wanted to have fun, and we did,” said Shannon Carroll. “We did a good job.”The game is the team’s sixth loss in a row, but not in the fashion of recent games. “The team over all tonight played much better than what we have been playing,” said Molitor. “We have really been in a slump and the team came together. It was good to see them out playing hard and as a team again. Win or lose, I was happy with how they played tonight.”The night was kicked off with a ceremony to honor the seniors and their parents for their hard work. “This meant a lot because I have been playing for four years at this high school,” said Carroll. “I am going to miss everything about it.”Last Friday Oak Harbor played a make-up game against Mountlake Terrace and lost a hard-fought battle, 3-2. Then Tuesday the team lost to Shorecrest 3-0 in a game that Molitor admits that the team didn’t come to play. Next up will be the team’s final game at Cascade (8-1,12-1). The WIldcats lost a heartbreaker earlier in the year at home to the Bruins. “I am excited because the last time we played them we played really well and it could have gone either way,” said Hartman. “Hopefully it goes our way.” “I feel confident, if we have the same attitude in that game as we do now, we will do good,” said Carroll. "

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