Gallows humor was appropriate as Buzzie Welch noted roster changes for tonight’s matches of the East-West All-State volleyball series.
The East AA/AAA team will play without 6-foot-3 middle blocker Jessica Sanborn of Mead and 6-1 middle Jen Williams of Gonzaga Prep. Both have other obligations.
But fear not for the East, tournament coordinator Welch said, because 5-2 setter Story Tombari, also of G-Prep, has been added to “replace” the big hitters.
That may sound hilarious, although Welch, the coach at Lewis and Clark, recalls a West AA/AAA team of the early 1990s that featured five setters and beat a hard-hitting East.
The series, in its 12th year, begins tonight with two matches at North Central. The East A/B plays the West A/B at 5, followed by the East AA/ AAA vs. the West AA/AAA at 7.
Tickets are $3 for adults and $2 for children.
Katie Damon of Northwest Christian is co-coaching the East A/B. Damon’s star middle at NWC, 6-foot Jana Huston, had to remove herself from the roster because of chronic shoulder problems.
“We’ve been trying to see where our strengths are … and get used to each other,” Damon said after two days of practice.
The East A/B includes Eastern Washington University-bound Angie Hall, who helped Colfax to second place at the State A tourney. Other locals are North Idaho College-bound Lanae Jeske, Odessa; Janelle Allen, Wilbur-Creston; Megan Wellsandt and Alicia Jones, Ritzville; Sally Palmer, Tekoa-Oakesdale; and Tracy Tribbett and Lindsay Thiele, Colfax.
La Conner’s Susy Liebert, a co-coach for the West A/B, played with Damon at Westmont (Calif.) College and played for East AA/AAA co-coach Judy Kight at Mead. Kight led Mead to third place at last year’s State AAA tournament.
The other East AA/AAA co-coach is Colville’s Missy Bennett. Local competitors are Paige Quistad, Colville; Jaime Christensen, Rogers; Darcy Ruemping, Ferris; Sarah Menard, NC; and Shannon Snow, LC.
The West AA/AAA features Dori Bartusch and Donja Walker, 5-7 players from defending State AAA champion Bethel. John Reopelle, who coached Bethel’s title team, is co-coach with Kennedy’s Tom Muckerheide.
Teams have practiced at NC and LC since Tuesday. The final practices are from 9:30 to 11 a.m. today.
The series wraps up Saturday at Fife High School. The Dairy Farmers of Washington and the Washington State Volleyball Coaches Association sponsor the event.
AAA Legion baseball
Jeff Lafferty went 4 for 4 and scored three times to guide the first-place Blue Devils (15-7) to an 8-3 win over the Royals (7-10) at Whitworth College.
Eric Hayden struck out eight in seven innings and hit a two-run homer in the third for the Blue Devils. The Royals’ Bill Graffis was 3 for 4.
The Blue Devils stretched their lead over the Cannons to two games.
The team of Norm Carpenter, Mike McKenna, Tim Ramsey and John Vanos shot a 31-under-par 113 to win the first-day competition of the Seafirst Pro-Am, a Pacific Northwest Section event at Indian Canyon.
The final round begins at 7:30 this morning. On Friday, 136 professionals and 32 amateurs will begin stroke play.
Also at Indian Canyon, the club’s assistant pro, David Christenson, shot a 9-under 63 to win the daily professional competition by two strokes. He earned $250.
Runner-up Jeff Tachell of Fall City, Wash., earned $225. Tied for fourth at 67 were Indian Canyon head pro Gary Lindeblad, Bob Scott of MeadowWood and Rex Schultz of Esmeralda. All earned $160.
Spokane Select, comprised of players from Shadle Park and Mead, lost again at the Adidas Big-Time Tournament in Las Vegas, Nev.
The Dallas All-Stars beat Spokane 45-41, despite 21 points from Mark Stenersen. Spokane lost to Team Reebok 91-43 on Tuesday.