Viking volleyball set on state

Assistant coach Tara Curtis helps a player practice her kills before a match against Sequim High on Oct. 5. - Brad Camp/For the Herald
Assistant coach Tara Curtis helps a player practice her kills before a match against Sequim High on Oct. 5.
— image credit: Brad Camp/For the Herald

The North Kitsap High volleyball team has a legitimate shot at a state championship run.

The team is 10-2 for the season and 3-0 in the Olympic league, said head coach Tim French. The team’s success this season can be boiled down to the focus of its practices, he said.

“All of our girls are extremely competitive,” said assistant coach Tara Curtis.

That competitive drive is focused on one another during practice.

“They all seem to take this really seriously,” French said. “Things get pretty loud once they get going.”

Last year, the team was 17-5 overall and were undefeated in their league, ending the season 8-0. Despite losing seven of its varsity players from last year, expectations are still high, French said.

Before the season started, players found themselves competing against each other for positions, said junior varsity player Nicole Weber.

“We basically have to prove to the coach that we belong in those positions and you will help the team by being there,” Weber said.

This is not uncommon for a volleyball team, but the players knew they had high expectations to meet, Weber said.

“They challenge each other so much in practice now that the games don’t seem overwhelming,” French said.

To make it to a state tournament, the team will work on refining blocks and serves, French said.

When playing stronger teams, such as the game against Olympic High Sept. 28, these weaknesses can change the outcome of a game, French said.

“Beating Olympic High was a good one to get under our belt,” French said. “They are a strong team and really pushed us.”

The varsity game against Olympic came down to the final points in each of the matches, which helped coaches see where the team needs improvement, he said. The Vikings won all three varsity matches with scores of: 25-23, 25-23 and 25-20.

“I think it’s funny when you hear people talking about the final few points in a game, like in basketball, where the highlight is always that last free-throw,” French said. “But really every point is just as important as the last.”

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