Freshman Kaylee Futch goes for a kill against the Ravens at Auburn Riverside. Ben Ray The Reporter

Freshman Kaylee Futch goes for a kill against the Ravens at Auburn Riverside. Ben Ray The Reporter

Volleyball: Kentlake’s hot league start cools off in loss to Auburn Riverside

Kentlake volleyball’s hot start has cooled off after a straight set defeat to Auburn Riverside on Oct. 5 on the road.

“All we have been talking about is playing a team like this just to make us better. For players to see good volleyball, it shows us where we need to grow and get better,” said Head Coach Shawna Behrens.

Coming into the matchup against the reigning nine-time league champs is a daunting task, but the Falcons had an identical league record and the same number of losses as the Ravens.

In set one, Auburn Riverside led from the beginning all the way to the final point. The Ravens were able to take advantage of mistakes made by the Falcons. Their largest lead was 23-7 in the first set and that really set the tone for the entirety of the match as the first set closed 25-10.

The Ravens are one of the best teams Kentlake has played.

“They have such strong hitters, they have the ability to fight through blocks, create good angles. They can place the ball well and they run all kinds of dimensions on the net,” Behrens said.

Set two was the first and only time the Falcons led in this one. They got out to a 2-0 lead, and eventually 4-1. But that was the only lead they would enjoy — the Ravens went on to tie it at 4-4 and never looked back. Kentlake tried to keep it close and got to within four midway through 13-9, but Riverside flexed its muscles and sprinted to a 25-16 win.

The third set was more of the same, with Riverside jumping out to a huge 8-1 lead out of the first nine points, even leading by as much as 12, 24-12 late in the third. The Falcons managed to get one more point before losing 25-13.

“I thought from our first set on we played more aggressively…controlled the court a little bit. I wish we could have dug a couple more balls so we could run our offense a little bit more,” said Behrens.

The Falcons recently broke a 15-year state tournament drought back in 2021. They lost in the first round to Snohomish, but playing games against the Ravens prepares them for late season matchups.

“Always playing someone better is going to make us better and we need that competition. I don’t think tonight went to waste. It was something that can also move us forward and motivate us more to get better,” Behrens said.

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