North Region play opened up on Friday night with the Trojans traveling to Bellingham, and a date with the Whatcom CC Orcas. Everett entered the match with a 4-10 record in non-conference play, while Whatcom came in with a 9-7 record and one of the top kills/set leaders in the NWAC Hailee Blau.
Whatcom took a small lead to start the first set and was able to build that lead out to 6 before the Trojans chipped away, eventually tying the game at 15-15. EvCC took their first lead of the match on a setting error to go up 18-17, but the Orcas responded with a four point run, forcing an Everett timeout. The Trojans showed no quit, and pulled to within two after a Chaunalisa Velez kill, but the Orcas were able to close out the match 25-20. Stasia Kaahanui and Bailey Gardner (a Bellingham native) each had two kills for the Trojans.
Set two was dominated by the Orcas from start to finish, building a comfortable 14-7 lead and never allowing the Trojans to get within four from that moment on. Blau lead the way for the Orcas with four kills in the 2nd set en route to a 25-14 set win.
The 3rd and what would end up being the final set in the match featured a much stronger effort by Everett who jumped out to a 7-3 lead and eventually a 12-7 lead. That five point lead would end up being the largest that EvCC would hold in the match, and Whatcom was able to bring the game back to a 13-13 tie lead by two service aces from Whatcom's Alexis Carpenter. After four lead changes and four ties, Whatcom went on a 6-1 run to set up a 24-19 match point. The Trojans showed some life to bring it back to three at 21-24 but the set and match would end on an attack error giving the Orcas a 3-0 win to open up North Region play.
Bailey Gardner lead EvCC with 6 kills, 9 assists, and 6 digs. Stasia Kaahanui added 5 kills and 8 digs, while sophomore Savannah Horton lead the team with 10 digs. Everett will host their first home match in nearly three weeks on Wednesday September 25th when they take on Shoreline CC. The Dolphins are coming off of a 3-1 loss to #9 ranked Bellevue. Match time is set for 7pm at the Walt Price Center.