LACEY – The wakeup call came early.
Then Ridgefield kept rolling into the night.
The Spudders secured a spot in the Class 2A state volleyball semifinals with a straight-set win over Sehome on Friday evening.
But Ridgefield was still jazzed by a jolt that came seven hours and one match earlier at St. Martin’s University.
Ridgefield trailed 24-20 in the first set of its first-round match against Washington of Tacoma.
How would the Spudders respond? By scoring six straight points to take the set 26-24. Ridgefield went on to sweep Washington 25-19, 25-16.
“That was really important,” senior Anika Nicoll said. “It was kind of our wakeup call. It was an early morning match, so we really needed to win that first set to get the momentum going.”
Like a train gathering steam, Ridgefield plowed through its quarterfinal match against Sehome (25-21, 25-19, 25-16).
Ridgefield (16-3) faces Lynden (15-5) at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the semifinals. White River or Burlington-Edison awaits the winner in the championship Saturday evening.
Momentum has been on Ridgefield’s side since before Friday. The Spudders have won eight straight matches, including two come-from-behind victories last week at the district tournament.
“When we’re down we come back really strong,” senior Haley Paul said. “We’ve been at that point a lot during districts. It just shows how strong we can be when we’re in a stressful point of the game.”
Paul had seven of Ridgefield’s 16 aces in Friday’s matches. Those helped Ridgefield sustain rallies, like the nine straight points it scored to take control of the second set against Sehome.
“Every rotation is different, so once you get used to a certain rotation and keep playing in it, it just works,” said sophomore Delaney Nicoll.
The younger Nicoll sister was Ridgefield’s most impactful player Friday. She had 20 kills, 18 assists and eight digs against Washington. She added a team-high eight kills against Sehome.
“She has been super consistent for us,” Ridgefield coach Sabrina Dobbs said. “Her energy is great. She’s smiling. She’s happy and excited. Just having her 100-percent there for us is really key in how we play.”
Everything was rolling for Ridgefield on Friday. The climb will be steeper on Saturday, but it’s a track the Spudders believe they can travel.
“The energy in here is just crazy,” Delaney Nicoll said. “We played really well today and I think that’s because we’re celebrating every point. We’ve had trouble with that in the past, but today we really pulled through.”
RIDGEFIELD 3, WASHINGTON 0
26-24, 25-17, 25-12
Highlights – Delaney Nicoll 20 kills, 18 assists, 8 digs, 3 aces; Anika Nicoll 6 kills, 5 digs, 1 ace; Hailey Paul 5 kills, 4 aces, 4 digs; Kenadi McCaskill 16 digs; Kameryn Reynolds 3 kills, 2 blocks; Kohana Fukuchi 16 assists, 2 aces, 2 digs.
RIDGEFIELD 3, SEHOME 0
25-21, 25-19, 25-16
Highlights – Anika Nicoll 6 kills, 11 digs; Kameryn Reynolds 4 kills, 1 block; Haley Paul 3 aces, 5 kills, 1 block, 15 digs; Kohana Fukuchi 16 assists; Delaney Nicoll 2 aces, 8 kills, 7 assists, 1 block, 2 digs; Kenadi McCaskill 8 digs.