Season comes to an end for Lady Hawks

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks volleyball team started off the season with a disappointing (0-3) record, largely due to a whole new cohort of players, including several who had never played organized volleyball before. The coaching staff of Tina Brown, Katia Brown, and Aliya Jones reviewed lots of game film and implemented a series of new practicing techniques to teach their new players the fundamentals of team volleyball. Over the course of the season, the practices paid off as the Lady Hawks found the winning way, taking four of their next six matches.

After a humbling loss to Providence Classical Christian, the girls bounced back in a big way, again finding their rhythm on the court and finishing the regular season with four straight victories. The winning streak moved Heritage into a tie for 4th in the Northwest 1B League with an (8-6) record, and earned them a berth in the postseason tournament.

Over the course of the two-day 1B District playoffs, the Lady Hawks played four competitive matches vs. top quality opponents. First up was against Providence Classical Christian, which for the third time this season got the better of Heritage. In their following match Tulalip made quick work of Cedar Park Christian, beating them 3 games to 1.

Arlington Christian was the next challenge. In a match that was by far the most competitive of the season for the Lady Hawks, with each game coming down to the wire and every single point being consequence, the girls gave a valiant effort and fell just short of victory.

The letdown of the previous match carried over in what would be the final match of the season, a matchup with Shoreline Christian. The match was tightly played, with the Lady Hawks having a lead in every game, but not able to finish strong. Tulalip showed high spirits by continuing to play hard each and every point, even when the outlook was grim.

Following the tournament, Lady Hawk senior captain, Keryn Parks, shared her thoughts as she reflected on the season.

“During our season, we all tried are best and hardest to reach our goals as a team. We improved tremendously, worked better as a team, and built stronger relationships as a family,” said Keryn. “We grew so much. For myself, being a senior and playing on this team since my sophomore year, I knew the game pretty well and was more than willing to help my teammates, and encourage my teammates on just how great each of them are.

“Winning five of our last six regular season games was awesome. We really wanted to go far in the playoffs, but everything happens for a reason. We played so hard every game, and we played with so much heart. It hurts that our season is over, but I’m so blessed to have a team I’ll forever consider my family!”

Bump, Set, Spike… it’s Senior Night

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The Francy J. Sheldon gymnasium was packed full of family and friends as the Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks (5-6) hosted the Orcas Christian Saints (5-3) on Tuesday, October 17. This game doubled as Senior Night, so the evening’s contest meant a little something extra for the eight seniors on the team.

Prior to the volleyball match, there was a ceremony to honor the Lady Hawks seniors. Kimberly Smoley, Jessica Damita, Nissie Jones, Rosealynne Williams, Keryn Parks, Shaunte Moses, Eddie Reeves, and Deandra Grant were all given a bouquet of roses from Principal Shelly Lacy before greeting their families on the court for a photograph opportunity.

In the match’s 1st game, both teams were playing with lots of energy and communicating effectively. Heritage jumped out to an early 8-4 lead, but the Saints fought back and tied it up at 18-18. The Lady Hawks trailed for the first time at 20-22, but after a timeout they regrouped and earned victory in a hard fought 28-26 opening game.

The 2nd game started out competitive, tied 7-7, before the Lady Hawks found their groove and took a 17-10 lead. Heritage did a great job all match of setting up senior captains, Keryn and Deandra, for point-earning spikes, and won the game 25-16.

The 3rd game ended up being the most lopsided as the Lady Hawks dominated at the net with several key blocks and spikes that took the fight out of the Saints. Seniors on the team got plenty of reps down the stretch and celebrated with a 25-9 win, taking the match W 3 games to 0.

With the win the Lady Hawks record moved to (6-6) and assures them a spot in the upcoming District Tournament that starts on Wednesday, October 25. Time and location to be determined after Heritage wraps up their final two regular season games.

Lady Hawks soar to back-to-back victories

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

The (0-3) Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawk volleyball team has had a rough start to the season, with several first time players still adjusting to the high school game. With each additional rep, practice, and game the girls grow more familiar with each other’s strengths and weaknesses, while team chemistry continues to develop.

Assistant Coaches Katia Brown and Aliya Jones, both Heritage graduates, have been working diligently with their players to build a strong foundation with a back to the basics approach.

“We’ve been focusing on communicating better, passing to the setter and getting our serves over the net,” says Aliya.

“As a team, we’ve been watching videos on passing technique and then critiquing ourselves based on those videos,” adds Katia. “The videos have helped us develop better footwork that leads to better passing.”

Everything the Lady Hawks have been working on was on full display in a home matchup with Cedar Park Christian on September 21. The communication, passing, and getting the ball over the net was all much improved. Heritage won the 1st game 25-15, 2nd game 25-9, and finished strong in the 3rd game 25-17 to earn their first W on the young season.

Just days later the Lady Hawks hosted the Skykomish Rockets on September 26. The momentum from their first victory continued into this game. Aces were aplenty as nearly every Lady Hawk took their turn serving up points. After winning the 1st game 25-13, the Lady Hawks dominated the 2nd game 25-6.

Going into the 3rd game, Coach Tina Brown seized the opportunity to substitute all the back-ups into the game. Having a completely new line-up in provided much needed experience and in-game reps. This Lady Hawk line-up didn’t disappoint either. They passed well and served up Aces, too. At one point they went up 15-1 before clinching the deciding game 25-16, taking the match 3 games to 0.

After back-to-back victories, upping their overall record to (2-3), the coaching staff is delighted to see practice paying off with better communication and a much improved service game.

“We’ve been working so much on serving and passing in practice and it really showed in our last two matches,” says Katia.

The Lady Hawks look to get more Ws and stay in the playoff hunt with 1/3 of the season now played. The next home game is Thursday, October 5 vs. Grace Academy.

Lady Hawks fall to 3rd in standings



By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The Tulalip Heritage Hawks volleyball program’s scorching hot (5-0) start seems like a distant memory after losing four of their past five matches. Their latest loss came at home when they hosted the (4-5) Arlington Christian Knights on Wednesday, October 12.

Game 1 was a lackluster effort from the Lady Hawks. They went through the motions of playing, but the effort wasn’t there and they dropped the opening game 16-25. During intermission, they tried to talk strategy and came to the conclusion they just weren’t pumped up to play. During game 2, the home team fell behind 3-9 before putting together a few rallies and got the score to 14-15. The crowd got into it and the Lady Hawks looked to be getting their groove back. The Lady Hawks played as a team with energy and grinded out a 27-25 win.

Their momentum continued in the 3rd game, as they took a 9-3 lead and extended it to a 20-14 lead before the Knights called a time-out. Following the timeout the Knights took momentum back and left the home team reeling. After being up 20-14, the Lady Hawks were unable to close out the game and lost 23-25. They were unable to muster a comeback and dropped game 4, resulting in a 1 game to 3 match defeat.

With the loss the Lady Hawks are now (6-4) and find themselves in 3rd place in NW 1B standings. They have work to do and it will start in practice to rebuild their team chemistry. The next two games are against the winless Skykomish and Lummi Nation teams. Hopefully the girls can right the ship, get those Ws, and figure out how to sustain their energy for a full match in order to clinch a spot in the postseason tournament.


Lady Hawks soar back vs. Eagles, stumble vs. Tomahawks



By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 


After losing their first matches of the season, the Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks (5-2) looked to bounce back and right the ship when they traveled to Grace Academy to play the Lions (3-3) on Friday, October 7. This was the second matchup between the teams, as they previously played back on September 8 in a thrilling match the Lady Hawks won 3 games to 2.

In the 1st game, the Lady Hawks came out flat and Grace took advantage by going up 17-10, forcing coach Tina Brown to call timeout. Following the timeout, Lady Hawk players were much more active and got engaged defensively. They were flying around and diving to save rallies. Clutch serving by Aliya Jones and Cidney Marteney proved to be the difference, as they helped their team go on a 15-4 run and take the opening game 25-21.

Both the 2nd and 3rd games played out the same with both teams playing well at the net and forcing each other into unforced errors. The Lady Hawks weren’t able to go on those long rallies to string together points, which allowed Grace to close-out both games. Grace took the 2nd game 25-22 and the 3rd game 25-19.

Down 1 game to 2 and needing to grind out back-to-back games is an all too familiar place for the Lady Hawks lately. They were not able to do it in their last two losses. However, unlike in the previous two games, the Heritage fans were in full force and were determined to give that “7th man” energy to their team. It was such a great experience to witness the Heritage fans pick up their team and motivate the girls to dig deep.

Seemed like after every point the Lady Hawks scored in the 4th game was met with cheers and applause from their fans. After winning the 4th game and forcing a match deciding 5th game, the fans really let loose. Sounded more like a home game then an away game for sure.

In the 5th and final game, the momentum from the last game coupled with the energy from their fans proved to be huge for the Lady Hawks. After being down 1 game to 2, they soared back and won back-to-back games to claim match victory 3 games to 2.




On Monday, October 10 the Lady Hawks (6-2) hosted the Marysville Pilchuck C-team (4-3) at Francy J. Sheldon gymnasium. On paper this looked to be a very lopsided mismatch, with all the advantages in favor of the home team. There were expectations going in that the Lady Hawk starters would take care of business early, so that the younger bench players could see heavy minutes and get more game time experience. Unfortunately, that expectation would not be met.

Games 1 and 2 played out in near identical fashion. In each game the Lady Hawks took an early 5-2 lead, only to squander it and be tied 13-13 minutes later. Instead of going on rallies and putting the pressure on the less experienced Tomahawks, the girls played without energy and kept committing unforced errors. The Lady Hawks lack of team work and hustle cost them both games by the score of 23-25.

Before the start of game 3, coach Tina Brown urged her girls to get into game mode and to work through their mistakes as a team. Her team responded in an emphatic way. The Lady Hawks came out with a sense of urgency and were firing on all cylinders to take a commanding 16-8 lead. They continued their solid play and closed out the 3rd game, 25-12.

For whatever reason the Lady Hawks lost that sense of urgency and again played sluggishly. They found themselves trailing 5-15 in the 4th game and waited too late to mount a comeback. They lost the game 20-25 and the match 1 game to 3, sending their overall record to (6-3).



Lady Hawks stumble in back-to-back defeats



By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

After opening the season in grand fashion, undefeated at 5-0 and sitting atop the league standings, the Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks have taken the L in consecutive matches.

On Friday, September 30, the Lady Hawks (5-0) hosted the Highlanders (2-1) from Providence Classical Christian. The Lady Hawks got shellacked 9-25 in the 1st game, but responded with a gritty 25-23 win in the 2nd game. The 3rd game was a repeat of the 1st, with the Lady Hawks committing too many errors and not able to return the ball. They dropped the 3rd game 10-25.  Again, the home team responded with a well-played 4th game, winning 25-14, and forcing a match deciding Game 5.

In the 5th game, the Lady Hawks started out playing with a sense of urgency and went up 6-3. However, they weren’t able to keep it up and the Highlanders would battle back and claim the game and match victory. It was the first taste of defeat for the Lady Hawks.

On Monday, October 3, the Lady Hawks (5-1) traveled to Mountlake Terrace to take on the Lions (5-1) of Cedar Park Christian. These two teams were tied for first in the Northwest 1B league.

The Lady Hawks came out ballin’ in the 1st game. They took a very quick 12-1 lead and closed out the game 25-16. Unfortunately, the tide turned in the Lions favor as they seemed to figure out the Lady Hawks offensive strategy. At every opportunity, the Lions would wait for the setter and put their tallest players at the net to block Lady Hawk attacks. The Lions strategy worked as they won the 2nd game 25-18, 3rd game 25-19, and 4th game 25-15.

Tulalip falls to second in the standings with a (5-2) record. They now have a few days to practice, watch game film, and figure out where they can make adjustments. With upcoming home games on Monday, October 10, and Wednesday, October 12, the Lady Hawks will look to right the ship and get back to their winning ways.



Lady Hawks volleyball returns with emphatic victory



By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks volleyball program took leaps forward last year by winning five regular season matches and winning two clutch postseason matches before losing a nail-biter to Shoreline Christian, ending their season with a 7-11 final record. This season’s Lady Hawks team returns seven players from last year, and with another off season of development under their belt the Heritage program looks to take another successful leap forward.

On Thursday, September 8, the Lady Hawks hosted the Grace Academy Eagles in what doubled as the season and home opening game. Last season, our Lady Hawks got walloped 0-3 in both match-ups with the Eagles, so a good showing would be a nice confidence booster and proof positive the program is developing in the right direction.

From the opening serve it was obvious the Lady Hawks came to play. The first game was a highly contested battle, with each team going on a series of runs. Up 23-22, the Lady Hawks tightened up the defense and scored on back-to-back points to take the opening game 25-22.

The near even play continued in the second game, until miscommunication crept in on the Lady Hawks part leading to them trailing 17-23. Digging deep, they went on a 6-1 run to make it a one point game, 23-24. The momentum was halted moments later with a bad serve that gave Grace the game 23-25.




Tied at one game each, the Lady Hawks opened up a 7-5 advantage to start the third game. However, Grace took control and the home team trailed 10-18. Heritage was unable to get back in the game, going on to lose 17-25.

Down one game to two, and with Grace only needing to win one more game to take the match, the odds weren’t looking good for Heritage. But these Lady Hawks were determined to take the momentum back. They took a very quick 6-1 advantage in the fourth game and never looked back. Winning the fourth game 25-15 tied up the match at two games apiece, forcing a match deciding fifth game.

In the fifth and final game, the Lady Hawks opened up trailing 0-2 before buckling down and scoring at will. Determined to end their match losing streak to Grace, the Lady Hawks went on a 15-3 run to clinch the game 15-6 and take the match victory 3-2 in front of a very spirited home crowd.

The Lady Hawks hit the road for their next two matches against Lopez and Arlington Christian before coming back home to host Skykomish on Tuesday, September 20.



Lady Hawks finish season playing their best volleyball





By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

On Thursday, October 29, the Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks (5-9) hosted the Skykomish Rockets (4-10) at Francy J. Sheldon court for a play-in game to the Northwest District 1B Volleyball Tournament. It was either win and advance to the playoffs or lose and the season was over for the Lady Hawks.

This would be the third matchup between these two teams, with Tulalip having beaten them at home 3-1 earlier in the season but then losing 2-3 at Skykomish just two weeks ago. The pressure was on Tulalip.

The Lady Hawks would rise to the occasion and win the 1st game 25-11, lose the 2nd game 16-25, bounce back to take the 3rd game 25-16, and finish them off 25-13 in the 4th game to claim the match victory, 3-1, and punch their ticket to the postseason.

The 2015 Northwest District 1B Volleyball Tournament was held at Mt. Vernon Christian High School on Saturday, October 31. By winning their play-in game, the Lady Hawks had earned the right to play the #1 seeded team in the playoffs, the Mount Vernon Christian Hurricanes, in the opening game of the tournament.

In the 1st game the Lady Hawks managed to jump out to a 5-0 lead before the Hurricanes went on a massive 25-1 point run and down the Lady Hawks 6-25. In the 2nd game, Tulalip played Mt. Vernon Christian to a 10-10 tie before losing, 16-25. Again, in the 3rd game, Tulalip would play the Hurricanes to a 9-9 standstill early on, but then Hurricanes went on a game ending runs to win 11-25.




Losing 0-3 to the #1 ranked Hurricanes was a moral victory for Lady Hawks, as they took solace in knowing they were able to go point-for-point with the best team in the district when they played together and communicated effectively. The loss put Tulalip in a ‘loser out’ match versus the Cedar Park Christian Lions, so there would be only a 30 minute turn-around before they had to play again.

The Lady Hawks vs. Lions match would be the best match the Lady Hawks have played all season long. The two teams matched up almost identically with their style of play and athletic ability.

In the 1st game the Hawks would take a 12-8 lead before trailing at 19-22. Digging deep, the Lady Hawks finished the game on a 6-1 run to win the opening game, 25-23. The 2nd game would again see the Lady Hawks take a 12-8 lead before going up 20-18. However, this time it was the Lions who went on a game ending run, 7-1, to win 25-21. Tulalip bounced back in the 3rd game; after trailing 8-12 early, they would take an 18-16 lead before closing out on a 7-2 to win 25-18.

The 4th game saw the both teams match each other point for point to a 10-10 tie before the Lady Hawks managed to take a 23-19 lead. It looked like the game would go to the Lady Hawks after an Ace by Keryn Parks, but the court judges declared the ball went out of bounds. (Upon replay it was obvious the Ace was good, but volleyball doesn’t use replay) The terrible call gave the Lions new life and they rallied to beat Tulalip, 26-24.

Tied at 2 games each, the match would game down to a deciding 5th game. In volleyball, 5th games are played to 15 points instead of the usual 25 points. The Lady Hawks did their ‘pump it up’ huddle rally to make sure everyone had their focus back. Both teams were relentless in their pursuit of the ball in this final game. Players from both sides were flying around and diving on the ground to save each possible rally. The score was tied 8-8, then tied 13-13 before the Lady Hawks connected on back-to-back aces by Aliya Jones to win the game 15-13 and the match 3-2.

Winning the match meant the Lady Hawks had made it to the 5th place game, where they would play the Shoreline Christian Chargers. As in their previous match, this one would be another 5 game affair. The Lady Hawks continued to battle, set each other up for good passes and strikes, while also talking it up.




In the 1st game the Lady Hawks would fall 20-25, bounced back to win the 2nd game 25-21, fell in the 3rd game 19-25, and rally to win the 4th game 25-19. In the 5th and deciding game, the Lady Hawks would again be in a highly competitive, every point counts mode. Every point and rally by either team was countered right away, to the point that the game was tied 14-14 before the Chargers won back-to-back points that clinched match victory.

After the very up and down regular season the Lady Hawks had, it was a delight to see them play with as much energy and team spirit in their play-in game to make it to the playoffs, then to rise to the occasion over and over again versus grade-A competition. Finished 6th in the entire 1B District is definitely an achievement for the Lady Hawks and their coach summed it up best following the season ending game.

“I am so very proud of our Lady Hawks volleyball team,” stated Coach Tina Brown. “The girls made it to districts for the first time, they played with pride and fought hard. What a great season.”



Lady Hawks snap losing streak with 3-1 win over Orcas Christian



By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

On Tuesday, October 20, the (3-7) Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks hosted the (2-8) Orcas Christian Saints. Back in late September the Lady Hawks defeated the Saints 3-0 and were looking to snap their 3-game losing streak with another victory over the Saints.

Tulalip started out very sluggishly in the 1st game, trailing 13-14 to a team they could have easily been blowing out. Coach Tina Brown called a timeout to chat with her team.

“We aren’t communicating. You girls have to play hard. This shouldn’t be a close game. Communicate, move your feet, stop second guessing and play had like I know you can. Let’s go and finish this game strong,” Coach Tina told her team.

The Lady Hawks responded by going on a 12-1 run that won them the opening game, 25-15. Highlighted by five straight aces served up by Adiya Jones, the Lady Hawks looked prime to finish this match off quickly.

Orcas Christian had other ideas though. The Lady Hawks started the 2nd game by going up 4-1 before the Saints countered with 8-1 run of their own. Now trailing 5-9, the Lady Hawks appeared to shut off their intensity switch. They completely stopped communicating, resulting in easy aces for the Saints and multiple times where players ran into each other because no one was calling for the ball. Down 6-14, Coach Tina again called for a timeout to try and rally her team. Her team didn’t respond like they did in the 1st game and wound up losing the 2nd game 19-25.

Before the start of the 3rd game, Coach Tina pleaded with her team to find the energy and intensity that had disappeared from her players. “Trust, communication, the setter gets the 2nd hit. You all know the game plan but aren’t doing it. It’s all about communication. You have to get rid of the attitudes and negativity. We’re killing ourselves with the negativity.” Coach’s sentiments were echoed by players Mikaylee Pablo and Jaylin Rivera, who both tried to pump up their team and get everyone’s head up.




It took everyone’s effort to get the Lady Hawks back into the game, it may have taken some talking to, but it worked. In the 3rd game, the Lady Hawks jumped out to a 15-5 lead. Most importantly, the girls looked like they were having fun again. They were talking it up and running for the ball. For their efforts they won the 3rd game 25-12.

Their solid play continued in the 4th game, and really the game was only semi-close because of the 6 points the Lady Hawks gave away on bad serves. They won the game 25-20 and claimed match victory 3-1.

Tulalip Lady Hawks outmatched by Grace Academy, lose 0-3

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News Hawks-volleyball-2


The (3-6) Tulalip Lady Hawks volleyball team traveled to Grace Academy on Friday, October 16, to face the (6-2) Eagles. It was the third straight road game for Tulalip and second time this season they’d play the Eagles. Their first match was played in Tulalip and was a 0-3 defeat for the Hawks.

In the 1st game of the match, the Lady Hawks were unable to match the intensity of the Eagles and lost a very quickly played game 13-25. In the 2nd game, the Lady Hawks upped their play and matched the Eagles point for point early-on. With an 8-8 tie game, the Eagles started to pull-away and went on to win the game 19-25.

It was in the 3rd game where the team from Tulalip displayed the competitive spirit we are accustomed to seeing. They came out firing on all cylinders, taking a 5-1 lead, extending it to 8-2, and then making it 14-5; forcing Grace Academy to take the first timeout of the match.  Tulalip was playing as a team and doing a commendable job of hustling to earn every one of their points. Following the timeout, Tulalip continued to dig in and maintain their lead. They were leading 23-16, only needed to score 2 point more to win and force a 4th game. However, Grace Academy wouldn’t make it that easy and they called another timeout to adjust their serving game strategy.




Following another timeout, Grace Academy scored 5 straight points, 3 of them were on aces, to close the Tulalip lead to 23-21. The Lady Hawks called a timeout of their own to calm their nerves and make a couple substitutions. The Eagles scored 2 more points to tie the game at 23-23. The tension was in the air with both teams really wanting to win this game. Both team refused to give in and they matched each other point for point to a 25-25 standstill. Normally the winner is the first to 25 points, but you have to win by 2, so this was basically like an overtime. First to claim a 2 point lead would win the game. The next two points scored by each team was very quickly countered by their opponent, keeping the game tied at 27-27. The Lady Hawks were running, diving, and hit the floor on numerous occasions to salvage every point, but unfortunately it just wasn’t enough on this night. They gave up another ace to the Eagles, followed by an unforced error that resulted in a 27-29 loss and a 0-3 match defeat.