LACEY, Wash. – University’s drive for the State 4A volleyball semifinals hit a brick wall late Friday night, after every other match had long since ended at Saint Martin’s University.
The Titans, leading Curtis 7-4 in the fifth game of a back-and-forth quarterfinal, ran out of gas and points. The Vikings scored the final 11 points of the match for a 25-16, 14-24, 25-23, 22-25, 15-7 marathon victory.
“At the end of the second match we made way too many unforced errors,” U-Hi coach Mike Summers said. “It’s not the way we wanted it to go, but we’re still alive.”
Curtis will play Emerald Ridge at 3:15 p.m. today in one semifinal. Two-time defending champion Bellarmine Prep and Battle Ground will meet in the other.
The Titans (28-5) will play at 11:45 a.m. against Camas.
U-Hi began the day with a 3-1 win over Kamiak, rallying after the Knights took the first game 25-20. Summers said he counted two or three first-game points that officials mixed up and awarded to Kamiak.
Against Kamiak, Daryn Griffith and Sydney Schlect combined for 21 kills; Alex Douglas and Sarah Carpenter teamed for 31 assists; and Jacey Schuh and Schlect combined for 35 digs.
Douglas had 15 kills and 16 digs against Curtis.
“It was a good day overall, we just played a little slack in the second match,” Summers said.
In the best match of the first round, Central Valley (26-2-1) lost for the first time since the Linda Sheridan Volleyball Classic, dropping a five-setter to this year’s Sheridan runner-up, Battle Ground. CV defeated Snohomish 3-1 in a late loser-out at Timberline High. The Bears will play Skyline at 9:45 a.m.
The Bears struggled mightily during the first two games with Battle Ground, especially in trying to stop 5-foot-9 junior outside hitter Brooke Van Sickle. The Tigers ended both games with 10-3 runs, winning the first 25-16 and the second 25-13.
The third game was also in jeopardy, with Battle Ground leading 18-13, before the match had an abrupt about-face. The Bears closed the game with a 12-5 run and used the momentum to storm ahead 15-2 in a fourth game that ended 25-15.
“The girls … were seeing it at first, and then they were getting close to it the second time, and then they were finally touching it the third, and they started to block and dig it later on,” CV coach Amanda Bailey said. “So the progression was there, as far as their big hitter (Van Sickle) and lining up with her and getting where they needed to be. They improved every match, which is why they were able to take those third and fourth matches.”
The fifth game, full of Tigers errors, was tied at 8, 9, 10 and 12 until Van Sickle wound up for an attempted kill right where Bailey was standing. The ball, clearly out, was called in and kept CV from winning because the Bears scored the next two points. CV served for the match at 14-13, but Battle Ground scored the final three points, two on tips by Van Sickle.
“That last game, you leave it up to one call,” Bailey said. “You keep it so tight that one bad call wins it for (Battle Ground). That’s not why we lost … but we shouldn’t have been in that situation where one call loses it.”
Junior Jade Rockwood led the Bears with 20 assists and 11 digs.
After falling to Woodland in five sets in the first round, East Valley kept its season alive with a 25-17, 25-20, 19-25, 27-25 consolation win over Lakewood in Lakewood, Washington.
The Knights will play Ridgefield today in the consolation semifinals.
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