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Colville reaches State 2A semifinals

LAKEWOOD, Wash. – The Colville Indians didn’t follow their season pattern Friday in the first round of the State 2A volleyball tournament.

For the first time this season, the Indians lost the opening set in a match they went on to win. Colville took care of things in the next three sets in a 26-28, 25-11, 25-14 and 25-18 decision over the Mark Morris Monarchs at Pierce College.

Colville (32-1) advanced to the semifinals with a 25-13, 25-17, 25-17 sweep of Sequim. The Indians will take on Tumwater today at 12:30.

In the opener, the Indians didn’t look like themselves early. Still, they gave themselves a chance late.

“I think we started off a little too amped,” Colville coach Missy Bennett said. “We weren’t our normal selves. We were just way too tight, we couldn’t control the ball. Free balls we were spraying all over the middle of the court. Normally we put those right on the net and we can run something off of them.”

The Indians put the first set behind them quickly, opening a 23-10 lead in the second set.

“We were a little bit too excited,” four-year starter Leanna Carr, the team’s setter, said. “There was a lot of hype and it’s the first time at the state tournament for a lot of our younger girls. I think the nerves got the better of us. But once we settled down we played our game.”

Carr finished with 44 assists, 13 digs and six aces. Her prime targets were Joelle Buckner (19 kills), Jacy Vining (13) and Jessie Glidewell (12).

“I don’t feel like we were ever relaxed and playing our normal game,” Bennett said. “Not emotionally. Physically, we were doing pretty well. We had some kids step in and get some passes for us.”

Buckner finished off the match with two aces to go with a kill from Vining.

“I think we were just waiting to see what they would do instead of going out and commanding the way the match should go,” Buckner said. “We just need to make sure we stay intense and have a lot of fun. We need to play our level of game and don’t stoop down to other teams’ levels.”

The Indians had no problem in their sweep of Sequim.

Bennett expects better play today, too.

“We finally focused more on what we were going to do with the ball instead of, ‘Oh, my gosh, what if we lose a set?’ ” she said. “Maybe this will be the thing that gets that monkey off our backs so that we can just play.”