WENATCHEE — Wenatchee Valley College volleyball coach Kelly Ketcham received a call from Community Colleges of Spokane coach Jenni Rosselli-Hull on Wednesday night after the Sasquatch’s match against Yakima Valley.
The Spokane coach had good news for Ketcham, but wanted to play a little joke first.
“We lost in five,” Rosselli-Hull told Ketcham. A Yakima Valley win would’ve forced a play-in game with WVC for the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges East Region’s fourth and final playoff seed.
“Oh, that’s a bummer,” Ketcham responded.
“Just kidding,” the Spokane coach said. “We won — but they did take us to 15-13 in the fifth set.”
That’s how Ketcham found out that his team had indeed qualified for the NWAACC Tournament, to be held next week in Gresham, Ore. The Knights finished their season with a 7-7 East mark, and the Yaks’ Wednesday loss pushed their record to 6-8.
“It’s good news,” Ketcham said, “but it’s good news that comes with responsibility, because now that we’re in, we want to make good on it. Yakima is a good team, and they’re tough to beat on their home court, and (a play-in game) would’ve been a scary proposition. On one hand, it’s nice to not have to (play them), but on the other hand, if we had to, we would’ve gone down there and hopefully beat them in three sets. There would’ve been no better preparation for the tournament.”
The Knights will take on Mount Hood, the No. 1 seed from the South Region, in their first tournament contest.
This will be the third time Ketcham has taken a WVC team to the postseason.
“We’re still young, and it’s going to be an eye-opening experience,” he said. “It’s my job to not only prepare them physically, but mentally.”