The queens were knocked off their throne Tuesday.
At least for now. For the second time in three meetings, Coeur d’Alene downed the two-time defending State 5A volleyball champion Lewiston Bengals.
The Vikings made it look easier than it was, though, as they stopped visiting Lewiston 25-20, 16-25, 25-18, 25-19 in the regional championship match.
Coeur d’Alene (18-3) advances to state for the first time since 2008. State is Oct. 31-Nov. 1 at Idaho Falls.
Lewiston (28-3) plays host to Lake City (17-10) Thursday in a loser-out match. The winner advances to a play-in match to decide a second state berth Saturday.
In the two regular-season matches against Lewiston, CdA fell in the opening games. In fact, in their earlier win, the Viks had to rally from a two-set deficit.
So imagine CdA coach Dee Pottenger’s excitement when her team took care of business in the first game.
“Lewiston is a really strong team so we had to earn our points to win,” Pottenger said. “My girls truly earned it.”
Lewiston got out to a 10-7 lead in the first set, but two 5-0 surges by the Viks allowed them to surge ahead 17-11.
The Bengals wouldn’t get any closer than four points the rest of the set. CdA got the set point on a net serve by Lewiston.
Lewiston appeared to have adjusted its block in the second set, floating two players around CdA’s top hitter, junior Megan Ramseyer. It worked and the Bengals broke from a 5-5 tie early and controlled thereafter.
The third game was highlighted by several nice kills and attacks by CdA. Ramseyer had nine of her match-high 19 kills in the game.
Perhaps the dig of the match came on set point when 6-foot junior Missy Huddleston dug Emilee Schlader, and Ramseyer put the dig away with a decisive swing.
Play was tight in the fourth set early. But CdA started to open a lead after a 9-9 tie.
Huddleston had a nice kill off an over feed, Lewiston had a rotation violation and Maura Donovan had one of her team-high five aces. Then sophomore Ali Williams put away a back set from Ramseyer and Donovan had another ace as CdA was on its way with a 15-9 lead.
Lewiston pulled within two points four times thereafter before Donovan again stepped behind the service line. She had an ace for a 23-19 lead. Then freshman Delaney Schmidt blocked an over feed and Huddleston put away a quick set from Ramseyer for match point.
“We said after we lost the second game that we would get the next two games,” Ramseyer said. “We had confidence we could do it.”
• Lake City swept Post Falls (10-22) 25-12, 25-12, 25-18 to stay alive.
Natalie Taylor led LC with 14 kills. Brittany Gay had 25 assists and 11 digs.
• Timberlake knocked off Kellogg 3-1 in a 3A District I opener at Bonners Ferry.
Katie Malloy led the Tigers with nine kills and three blocks and setter Matraca Rocheleau had 24 assists and 12 digs.
Timberlake meets Bonners Ferry in the title match tonight while Kellogg faces Priest River in a loser-out match. Both matches are at BF.
BF swept Priest River 3-0. Malorie Stippich led the Badgers with 10 digs and Amanda Wilson had four blocks.
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