North Creek’s Gabby Kepley, left, and Remington Atwood, right, attack the net in a game earlier this season. Andy Nystrom / staff photo

North Creek’s Gabby Kepley, left, and Remington Atwood, right, attack the net in a game earlier this season. Andy Nystrom / staff photo

Jaguars clinch berth in 4A state volleyball tournament

North Creek displays grittiness at the Wes-King district tourney.

The North Creek Jaguars girls volleyball team didn’t have a lot time to recover after suffering a devastating 3-2 loss in a winner-to-state, matchup against Kamiak on Nov. 10.

The Jaguars, who lost 16-14 in the fifth and final set, had to get their minds right following the setback. A mere 30 minutes later, the Jaguars faced Glacier Peak in a winner-to-state, loser-out 4A Wes King district playoff matchup.

North Creek rose to the occasion with a ticket the 4A state volleyball tournament on the line.

The Jaguars defeated Glacier Peak 3-1 (22-25, 25-21, 28-26, 25-19) on Nov. 10 at Bothell High School.

North Creek head volleyball coach Richard Abiador was overcome with joy following the biggest win of the 2018 season to date.

“It just shows their resiliency and their desire to stick together. It was tough to come back from that (loss to Kamiak). We talked about letting that game go and trying to focus on this match,” Abiador said. “Glacier Peak gave us a great match. It wasn’t the prettiest game. There was a lot of ups and downs. We had to battle for every point. It was definitely a team effort.”

North Creek senior Gabby Kepley, who delivered a bevy of timely kills throughout the matches against Kamiak and Glacier Peak, said her team wasn’t rattled by the loss to Kamiak.

“We knew what we had to do. We all wanted it so bad. We’re a committed group and we’re pretty dynamic as a team. It was so much fun to play in that game with all of the girls,” Kepley said of the win against Glacier Peak.

Clinching a spot at the 4A state volleyball tournament on Nov. 16-17 in Yakima is a dream come true for the Jaguars volleyball program in just their second year of existence.

“It is very big. We had that (state berth) in our sights ever since the season started. It is just a testament to all of the hard work the girls have put forth. I’m so proud of them,” Abiador said.

Kepley said it was a great feeling to see one of team’s biggest goals attained.

“We all had some goals we set at the beginning of the season. This was one of our goals and we fought for it,” Kepley said. “This has been an amazing season. We want to go out there (state tournament) and kick everybody’s butt. We just have to go out there with energy and just do as good as we can.”

* Monroe defeated North Creek in three games on Nov. 6 in the semifinals of the 4A Wes-King district volleyball tournament.

Kamiak eliminated Bothell in four games on Nov. 6.

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