As North Creek began to pull away in the fourth set, freshman outside hitter Kyleene Filimaua’s kills smashed the court even louder. Her team turned its cheers up a few notches as well as the Jaguars were on their way to victory.
For the second consecutive season, North Creek (16-2) grabbed the 4A KingCo tournament title, this time with a 25-12, 23-25, 25-16, 25-13 triumph over Mount Si (15-4) on Nov. 5 at Skyline High. Both teams — along with Bothell (13-7) — advanced to the 4A Wes-King district tournament.
After the match, the 6-foot Filimaua said she was ready and excited to play in the championship contest. Her right hand and shoulder got in a mammoth workout as she amassed 19 kills on the night.
“It felt great. It was so nice to play with all these other talented players,” she said. “I love it. It’s been one of the best years of my life. It’s been a great transition from middle school, and high-school volleyball is so much fun.”
North Creek closed out the first set with a Bella Moon dig and Jenna Howard kill. After dropping the second set, the Jaguars stormed back to win the third and fourth sets. Filimaua, Allison Wilks and Sofia DeCoteau had key kills in the final two sets.
Overall, Wilks notched 11 kills and 12 digs, Emmi Foltz had 19 assists, Howard had 13 assists and Moon had 12 digs.
Senior Howard stretched out her arms and screamed to the rafters after match point fell to the floor. After Mount Si took the second set, Howard said the Jaguars gathered for a motivational talk that guided them the rest of the way.
“We just said we had to control our side of the net and not worry about what they’re doing on the other side,” said Howard, who added that Mount Si was a solid opponent. Mount Si’s Megan Underbrink noted that it was an exciting, intense match.
Howard said that working hard in practice and having a positive attitude will help the team remain strong at districts.
“I think our team chemistry really grew from last year. Our team dynamic was a lot stronger, like the girls click a little more, so I think that helps on the court,” Howard said.
Filimaua echoed Howard’s sentiment and said she’s grown a lot since the season began.
“I’ve learned about teamwork and how to be a good teammate. I’ve improved a lot with my skills, also including hitting and passing,” she said.
In district action on Nov. 9, North Creek defeated Bothell three sets to one and advanced to the semifinals against Jackson on Nov. 12, after the Reporter’s deadline. The final is on Nov. 16.