An improbable finish produced an unexpected champion as the Class 2B state volleyball tournament wrapped up Saturday in the SunDome.
With pretournament attention focused elsewhere, the Reardan Indians quietly went about their business, eventually working their way into the championship match against one of those favorites – the La Conner Braves, who ended Colfax’s six-year title reign covering two classifications.
Reardan quickly proved it belonged, winning the first two games. But the Braves stormed back, winning the next two in convincing fashion. A fifth-game victory for them seemed a mere formality, but the Indians dug in and, behind Lauren Schulz, Katy Burge and Chantel Heath, ripped off six straight points to break a 7-7 tie and spark a 15-11 victory.
“We talked (prior to the final game) about having heart and that we deserved to win,” Reardan coach Brittney Kubik said after the 25-18, 25-21, 19-25, 11-25, 15-11 win. “We got our momentum back and we were unstoppable.”
“This is the best feeling in the world. It’s outstanding,” said Schulz, a senior hitter who had three kills in the decisive run and 16 total in the match to give the Indians their fifth state title but first since 1988, part of a 10-year run in which Reardan claimed four titles and four runner-up finishes.
But Saturday marked the first time since the end of that run, 1991, that Reardan had reached so much as the state semifinals, with just three other state berths in that time.
“It’s been so many years,” Schulz said, “We wanted to show our fans that we were here to win it – and we did do it.”
• In other 2B tournament action, Shaina Simonson and Nicole Sheer combined for 16 kills as Colfax rebounded from its five-set loss to La Conner to beat Darrington in straight sets 25-13, 25-21, 25-11. The win allowed the Bulldogs, who were the six-time defending state champions, to finish in third place. Simonson and Sheer both finished the day with 29 kills over the two matches for the Bulldogs. … Northwest Christian swept Mossyrock to advance to the fifth-place match and then did the same to Kittitas, 25-12, 25-14, 25-16, to take fifth place.
• State 1A: After losing its opening match of the state tournament, Colville won three consecutive matches on the second day to take fifth place at the SunDome in Yakima. The Indians swept Ridgefield and Newport in straight sets to advance to the consolation finals, where they beat Naches Valley 25-15, 25-18, 25-18. The Grizzlies were eliminated by Colville, but beat Montesano 3-2 to finish 1-2 for the tournament. Chelan won the title.