YAKIMA – A year can seem a lot longer than 365 days.
When you are an athlete in a team sport and your championship dreams are unexpectedly derailed, the wait for another shot at your tormentor can seem interminable.
For Colville and Colfax, that long wait is over. Both teams gained a measure of revenge over teams that ended their 2010 title dreams with impressive wins Friday at the State 1A/2B/1B volleyball tournaments at the SunDome.
Colville toppled La Salle in the 1A semifinals, 25-18, 25-7, 25-7. That, coupled with a routine 25-5, 25-14, 25-13 win over Annie Wright in the first round, puts the Indians in today’s semifinals against second-ranked King’s at 1 p.m.
“We’ve been waiting to play this game (La Salle) for a year,” Colville coach Missy Bennett said. When asked if her squad focused on La Salle while whiling away the four-hour drive to Yakima, she smiled and said “Indeed.”
Second-ranked Colfax knocked third-ranked La Conner into the consolation round right away, 25-22, 25-11, 25-19. The Braves had ended Colfax’s spectacular seven-year state title run in the 2010 semifinals. The Bulldogs were having none of it Friday and controlled the match after a spirited La Conner rally in the first game put a 23-16 Bulldog lead in jeopardy.
2B: Defending 2B champion Reardan extended its state winning streak to six matches. Despite being unbeaten, ranked atop the coaches poll and having four returning starters, the Indians seemed to garner little early attention compared to the Colfax-La Conner first-round contest.
That slight did nothing to deter the Indians, who made short work of Pe Ell, 25-15, 25-10, 25-14, and Bear Creek, 25-22, 25-11, 25-22, for a return visit to the semifinals.
“Our kids really played well,” Reardan coach Brittney Kubik said after the Bear Creek win. “That’s a top-four team right there. They really hit the ball hard and that’s what our kids like.”
After waiting through a year that seemed longer, Colfax made the most of its shot at revenge against La Conner. The Bulldogs made short work of the Braves and later Brewster in a quarterfinal match, 25-13, 25-16, 25-18.
Colfax – a nine-time state champion – and La Conner have serious state tournament history. The teams have met in the semifinals or finals – in one classification or another – five times since 2002, and Friday’s first-rounder marked the fourth straight year the teams have met at state; but it was the earliest state match-up ever.
The La Conner match served as a coming out party of sorts for freshman Amara Huber and sophomore Taylor Larsen of Colfax.
Huber had eight kills and 11 digs while Larsen had 10 kills and three blocks. Taylor Lange came off the bench and had serving runs of four and six points in the second game that really seemed to sap the Braves’ spirit.
Brewster provided little resistance to the Bulldogs, falling 25-13, 25-16, 25-18.
1B: Almira/Coulee-Hartline’s dreams of a repeat 1B title were dashed in the first round by Tekoa-Oakesdale, the team the Warriors beat in last year’s semifinals, the Nighthawks winning 25-18, 25-20, 17-25, 25-17.
But ACH bounced back in the consolation bracket to make short work of Neah Bay, 25-16, 25-19, 25-13, advancing into today’s consolation round against Odessa-Harrington at 9 a.m. A change in the consolation bracket means the best ACH can do is finish seventh.
“The loss was tough,” ACH coach Katie Walsh said. “We weren’t looking beyond that game and especially for our seniors, not having our ultimate goal in front of us hurt.
“We’re loose and ready to play,” Walsh said “All we can do is take care of our side of the court (today).”
Tekoa-Oakesdale used that upset as a springboard to the semifinals. The Nighthawks knocked off Moses Lake Christian 25-12, 25-14, 26-24 in the quarterfinals and will face Christian Faith at 1 p.m. in the semifinals.
Colton quietly advanced to today’s semifinals, not dropping a game in getting past Three Rivers Christian, 25-7, 25-8, 25-10, and Wilbur-Creston, 25-20, 25-11, 25-22. The Wildcats will face Seton Catholic in the semifinals today at 1 p.m.
1A: Freeman lost a tough five-game match to Castle Rock in the quarterfinals, 25-19, 10-25, 25-20, 21-25, 15-11. The Scotties will play Zillah in the consolation bracket today at 9 a.m. A win would assure Freeman of a sixth state trophy since 2003.
“I think we missed a lot of opportunities in the first game,” Freeman coach Ava Windlin Jansen said. “We did a lot of good things, but we didn’t do some of the little things, and that hurt us.”
Jansen praised the play of Kaela Straw and Maya Jansen. “They kept us in a lot of points,” the coach said.
Freeman had advanced thanks to a quick 25-13, 25-22, 25-20 win over Naches Valley in the first round.
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