One defending champion rolled to a repeat and another came up just short in the first two state volleyball championships at the Yakima Valley SunDome on Saturday.
La Conner coach Suzanne Marble said the Braves got to their best rotation at just the right time with Northwest Christian threatening to force a fourth set. Instead, after a side out senior Morgan Herrera served six straight points to seal a 25-19, 25-15, 25-22 sweep for a second straight 2B title.
“They don’t want to play four because these guys are good and you never know what’s going to happen if you go deeper,” said Marble, whose freshman daughter, Ellie, posted a team-high 18 kills. “(Experience) makes a huge difference in everything and plus I have good leadership from my seniors.”
The 1B championship proved just how difficult it can be to close out a match against a quality opponent. Pomeroy lost a two-set advantage and saw a seven-point lead evaporate in the fifth set before coming up with two points at the right time to knock off Oakesdale 25-21, 25-21, 22-25, 20-25, 16-14.
That gave the Pirates a season split in a four-match series with their district rivals, who had won four straight state titles, beating Pomeroy for three of them. Both teams graduated significant senior talent last season, but the Pirates’ seven seniors fought hard for back-to-back five-set wins to end their careers.
“They did a great job,” Smith said. “They really had a lot of heart today and played really well.”
Three Kittitas seniors also went out with a trophy, thanks to a come-from-behind 23-25, 25-12, 26-24, 25-19 win over Chewelah. The Coyotes took home eighth place after falling to Colfax 25-15, 25-21, 25-19.
La Conner highlights: Ellie Marble 18 kills, 22 digs, 2 blocks; Justine Benson 32 assists, 2 blocks; Joanie Benson 9 kills, block; Morgan Herrera 4 kills, 2 aces, 22 digs; Emma Keller 9 digs; Rachel Cram 22 digs.
Pomeroy highlights: Maddy Dixon 18 kills, 5 blocks; Heidi Heytvelt 33 assists, 15 digs, ace; Alyssa Wolf 14 digs; Keely Maves 5 kills, 5 blocks, dig; Teagan Steele 5 kills, 5 blocks; Jaden Steele 5 kills, 3 aces.
Oakesdale highlights: Gianna Anderson 24 kills, 3 blocks, 32 digs; Jessie Reed 16 kills, 32 digs, block; Payton Davis 9 blocks, 2 blocks, 11 digs, assist; LouEllen Reed 2 kills, 2 blocks, 6 digs; Lauryn Rawls 3 kills, 4 digs; Bree Rawls 4 kills, 3 blocks, 2 digs; Lizzy Perry 28 digs, 6 aces, assist.