Brewster tops Omak in five sets

— As closely matched as Brewster and Omak are in volleyball, it seemed fitting that their loser-out, bi-district qualifier match would go to five sets Nov. 5.

Brewster pulled out the victory and advanced to the bi-district tournament with a No. 3 seed. Omak’s season ended.

“I was pleased with the energy and aggressiveness we brought to the match,” Brewster coach Marcy Boesel said. “We played with a lot of heart. I’m very proud of our 12 girls. Everyone owned their role and we are excited to be heading to regionals on Saturday.”

“This was a tough loss, but regardless, I’m proud of the way we played and what we accomplished this season,” Omak coach Brittney Richter said.

This was the third five-setter between the teams.

They tied with 9-5 records in the Caribou Trail League, with each splitting a five-set match. The tie needed to be broken so one of the teams could reach the regional tournament Nov. 9.

It was the fifth time the teams met this season.

They split sets at the Okanogan Jamboree at the start of the year. The Bears took two of three sets in the Okanogan tournament.

“When we play Omak, we know that we will be playing a team that pushes us to play our best ball,” Boesel said. “We know that if we don’t match their energy and effort, they will win.”

So it was no shocker the teams fought into extra points twice.

Brewster pulled out the first set, 31-29, in a 35-minute match where Omak served for the set winner several times before the Bears got the advantage.

Brewster took the second set, 25-18.

Omak rebounded and took the next two sets 25-23 and 26-24.

“We fought hard and rallied back from a two-game deficit,” Richter said. “We started passing better and that allowed us to run our offense. Brewster has some smart players on their team and we did a good job at picking up some well-placed balls.”

In the decisive fifth set, Brewster powered out to an early lead before winning 15-8.

Brewster (10-5), with the District 6 No. 3 seed, was to play the Northeast 1A League’s No. 2 team, Lakeside, in a loser-out match to open the bi-district tournament Nov. 9 in Cascade.

If the Bears beat Lakeside, they will play for one of the four available seeds to the state tournament.

“Brittney has done such a good job with their program,” Boesel said. “They play with heart and determination and they play as a team. It’s really a shame that our district was not able to send four teams to regionals since there are four allocations (to state) this year. Omak definitely deserves the opportunity to battle for one of those berths.”

Brewster stats: Brette Boesel 18/18 serving, 24 kills, 40 assists, 7 blocks, 13 digs; Kendall Leaver 7 digs, 12/13 hitting, 4 kills; Markie Miller 7 aces, 17 digs, 32 kills, 5 blocks; Margie Brammer 19/20 serving, 1 ace, 7 digs, 23 assists, 8 kills, 3 blocks; Whitney Baker 2 digs, 1 assist, 5/7 attacking; Sally Romo 5 digs; Jocelyn Reyes 20 digs, 16/16 serving; Bethany Anderson 16/19 serving, 5 digs, 1 kill; Vanessa Terrones 3 digs, 14/14 serving; Gladys Najera 1 dig.

Omak stats: Lindsey Hughes 10 kills, 11-11 serving, 1 block; Baelie Meese 6 blocks, 6 kills; Kellie Foth 8 kills, 13 digs, 15-15 serving; Diane Hilderbrand 13 assists, 12-13 serving, 2 kills, 1 ace; Mitzi Lopez 3 kills, 5 assists, 4 blocks, 4 digs; Danielle Berntsen 9-10 serving, 7 digs; Taylor Coffell 7 kills, 5 blocks, 16 digs; Mariah Kruse 10-10 serving, 2 digs, 15 assists.

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