ELLENSBURG - It was win or go home, and Sunnyside's volleyball team came home Thursday following a 3-1 loss in a one-game tiebreaker playoff at Ellensburg.
"We finished the season with a well played game," observed Coach Kathy Jolliff.
Ellensburg broke the ice with an eighth minute goal to go up 1-0 on a three-on-one push to the net.
Sunnyside found an equalizer in the 20th minute when Gloria Galvan scored off an assist from Cassie Jolliff.
The contest remained even through the remainder of the first half, with Sunnyside firmly in contention in a 1-1 tie.
That led to a second half tug of war as both teams fought for a go-ahead goal to move on to the District playoffs. "When the second half started it was a great battle up and down the field for both teams," noted Jolliff.
With four minutes left in regulation, Ellensburg finally went up for good with a goal in the 76th minute.
"We were struggling defensively because their forwards were faster than us and we were not always ready for the sprint," Jolliff said.
Sunnyside still had four minutes to find a tying goal, but Ellensburg iced the win with a goal in the 80th minute.
"It was sad to see the tradition of going into postseason play - which started three years ago - not unfold for us this season," Jolliff said of the Lady Grizzlies, who ended their season at 3-9 in league and 4-13 overall.
Jolliff said she is already looking forward to next season, including the return of sophomore keeper Amanda Williams, who made several great saves in goal.
"I am so excited for next year," she noted. "I will have a very young team next year but they are great kids to coach. They never give up, they are eager to learn and they know how to work hard. My seniors taught them that."