After a scorching finish to its regular season with a pair of shutout wins, Blaine girls soccer fell flat in its first 1A Northwest Conference (NWC) playoff match against Meridian on October 30, losing 3-0.
Meridian has been a thorn in Blaine’s side all year, with the Trojans tying the Borderites 0-0 on September 26, and beating Blaine 3-1 on October 11. Through three matchups in the regular and postseason, Blaine has a 0-2-1 record against Meridian.
With home field advantage as the entire district playoff is held in Blaine, the Borderites hoped to bounce back in the double-elimination tournament that it was scheduled to play against Nooksack Valley at Borderite Stadium November 1. The game was the final chance for Blaine to keep its state playoff hopes alive.
Blaine has fared well against the Nooksack Valley Pioneers this season, recently defeating the conference foes 2-0 on October 21. The Borderites are 2-0-0 against Nooksack Valley this season, and hope to continue its winning streak and stay in the contention for state playoff selection.
Blaine split its first pair of district playoff games, defeating Mount Baker in a loser-out game in straight sets 25-5, 25-12, 25-18 to remain alive in the playoffs, then losing to top-seeded Meridian in straight sets 25-15, 25-19, 25-17.
In the Borderites’ win against Mount Baker, senior Teya Zaddack once again led the way with nine kills, seven digs and two aces. Junior Brie Smith had 10 digs and six aces, and sophomore Carly Saunders added five kills in the win.
With the loss to Meridian on October 28, the Borderites were faced with a win or go home situation against Lynden Christian on October 31. Blaine was unable to get the win, losing in straight sets to the third-seeded Lyncs.
The loss officially ends the Borderites’ season. It was a rollercoaster ride for the volleyball team after starting the regular season on a six-game losing streak, then turning things around and winning five of its last nine games to finish with a 5-10 record.
The Borderites will surely miss Zaddack, who is set to begin her collegiate volleyball career at Western Washington University next year, but will have a good crop of upperclassmen to be competitive in 2024.
Stats provided by WhatcomPreps.com
Blaine football ended senior night on a sour note on October 27 with a 49-2 loss to Nooksack Valley at home.
Nooksack Valley, the top-scoring offense in the conference, seemingly ran its offense however it pleased, as the Pioneers entered the halftime locker room ahead 35-0. The Borderites’ only score of the game came on the very last play, when a bad snap dribbled into the endzone for a consolation-prize safety.
The Borderites were only able to muster 42 rushing yards compared to a whopping 241 from Nooksack Valley, and junior quarterback Colin Davis completed just 12 of 21 passes for 146 yards.
With one game remaining on the schedule, on Friday, November 3 against East Jefferson in Port Townsend, the Borderites (2-7) finished conference play with a 1-3 record, and look to pick up its third win of the year. Its two wins came during a 55-0 demolition of an outmatched Vashon Island on September 15, and a memorable 29-28 homecoming win against Meridian on October 6.
First-year head coach Andy Olson told The Northern Light on multiple occasions throughout the season that this first year was about establishing a culture, not the win-loss record. Just a few seasons after going winless, this year felt like an improvement for the character of a team that has to compete in one of the most competitive conferences in the state.
Stats provided by WhatcomPreps.com
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