The dream of a repeat ended in a five-set loss for the Colville volleyball team Saturday afternoon at Lakewood, Wash.
In a toe-to-toe battle with the No. 1-ranked Tumwater Thunderbirds, Colville came up short, 25-17, 17-25, 25-23, 23-25 and 15-10, in the State 2A semifinals at Pierce College.
Colville (32-3) then lost to Selah 3-1 and placed fourth.
Against Tumwater, it was a matter of too much height and not enough hit at times for the Indians to overcome.
“It was a variety of things,” Colville coach Missy Bennett said. “We gave up too many easy points on missed serves, we didn’t do a good job of serving tough enough to keep the ball away from their big middle and we didn’t block. We were outsized.”
The thing that allowed Colville to fight back and extend the match to a fifth set – hitting – came up short in the final points.
“In the fifth game we were a little tentative on our swings,” Bennett said. “We weren’t hitting as hard as we were when we got ourselves ahead. We gave them stuff that they could run right back at us.”
Tumwater was on the attack from the start, using the strong arm of Karlee Simpson and the accurate arm and imposing size of 6-foot-2 Hannah Hanson. Simpson had a match-high 21 kills and Hanson had 16.
Senior Joellee Buckner led Colville with 20 kills and senior Jacy Vining had 13 and 15 digs. Senior setter Leanna Carr had 47 assists.
Tumwater set a tone in the first set, fending off the Indians who managed to tie the set at 10 before the Thunderbirds started to separate.
Colville answered in the second set. Then the teams exchanged 25-23 tense counts in the third and fourth sets.
“That was two really good teams playing in a tough match,” Bennett said. “I expected a match like that and I wasn’t surprised that it went five (sets). Usually, we find a way to win those games. The kids are pretty strong mentally. We just didn’t quite have it today.”
After forcing a fifth set, Colville never got untracked. Tumwater opened a 5-1 lead and kept applying the pressure.
Mt. Spokane was eliminated in its opening match Saturday, falling to Auburn Mountainview by consecutive 25-19 scores at Saint Martin’s University. Kennadie Clute led Mt. Spokane with 15 kills and 11 digs. Setter Paiton Larson had 19 assists.
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