Volleyball team opens playoffs
By Aleyah Bennett - Staff Reporter
The Highline women's volleyball team opens Northwest Athletic Conference tournament play today at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, coming off a first place finish in the West Division of the league.
Highline's record is 30-5 for the season and 12-2 in the NWAC West.
The lady T-Birds are set to play in the post season tournament in Tacoma sarting at 2 p.m. Their first match is agianst the East No. 4 Blue Mountain.
Highline defeated Grays Harbor 3-1 in the last league match on Nov. 9.
The Chokers took the first set as the T-Birds struggled with receiving service.
"As a team we just need to work on staying consistent throughout the match, over communicating and connecting on the court after every play.
The T-Birds came back and tied the set 21-21, but it wasn't enough and despite four kills by Eneliko the Chokers won 22-25.
Eneliko had five kills, Zoe Gains had four kills and Megan Van Marter contributed three more as the T-Birds bounced back to win the second set 25-17.
The Chokers had a lot of serves go into the net.
The T-Birds controlled the third set and won 25-20 before taking fourth set, 25-16, and match with a score of 25-16.
"It felt good taking home the win against Grays Harbor, especially since they are a really good team," Apryll Eneliko said.
There was a prematch ceremony to celebrate the sophomores' last home and league match. Taylor Alicuben, Emmy Freed, Lehua Keka, Kathleena Ly, Megan Van Marter and Pumehana Nedlic were all honored for their play for Highline over the last two years.
"I felt excited and honored to be recognized on sophomore night. I honestly did not feel like a true sophomore since I am a transfer student, but it was a great experience to have my family and friends come out to support me and to receive gifts from the freshmen," Ly said.
She called the tribute "bittersweet feeling," in that she will not be able to play and possibly never see some of her teammates again.
But I am so happy that I have gained so much from this season and am very grateful to be given the opportunity to play volleyball for Highline," Ly said.
And while the sophomores were the focus of the pregame festivities, it was freshman Eneliko who stole the spotlight during the match. Eneliko had 22 kills while Alicuben had 40 sets, Gaines had 15 kills and 16 digs and Nedlic had 18 digs.
The focus now turns to the NWAC Championships and the team is pumped.
"I think the team will do great. I am so excited for NWACs and I hope that my teammates are just as excited as I am. It all comes down to consistency and which team can be more consistent, as said throughout the season from my coach," Ly said.
As the team prepares for the championship, Ly said the team is very aware of the need to work on playing smarter and more consistent.
"We are very aware that these two things are what we need to work on. We are continuing to work very hard at practice to prepare for NWACs," Ly said.
"If we come out and play how I know our team is capable of playing I think we should do well in NWACs," Eneliko said.