YAKIMA – For the first time since 2018 the State 3A state volleyball championship trophy will not reside in a Spokane high school’s trophy case.
Seattle’s Lakeside took it to the Lilac City’s best on Friday, beating 2018 and ’19 champion Mt. Spokane in a four-set semifinal before sweeping defending champ Mead in the final inside the Yakima Valley SunDome.
Lakeside defeated Mt. Spokane 25-22, 25-18, 23-25, 25-21 and swept Mead 25-17, 25-13, 25-10 for the title.
The top-seeded Lions last won the title in 2016.
As if taking down the tournament favorite wasn’t a tall enough task, the Panthers – seeded No. 2 – struggled to find rhythm.
“We are kind of a middle-dominant team, and if we can’t pass the ball right then we are in trouble,” Mead coach Shawn Wilson said. “And we were in trouble from the get-go once we weren’t passing the ball like we needed to.”
Lakeside rode stellar serving, tight defense and the outside hitting of seniors Sophie Broesamle and Yazzy Muhammad to the championship.
“Their team played great – hats off to them – and we were not in our zone,” Wilson said.
The Lions jumped on the Panthers in each of the three sets and never looked back. In the opener it was a 7-2 edge, then 12-7 in the second frame and – after Mead scored the first two points – Lakeside went up 12-4 in the clincher.
The championship is redemption for a Lakeside program that also entered the 2021 tournament as the No. 1 seed but fell short of the trophy round.
“There was definitely some unfinished business,” Lakeside coach Jeff Kim said. “The seniors wanted it and they earned it, and they played their best match in the last match of the season.”
Six seniors capped their prep careers by helping the Panthers to their third runner-up finish in program history to go along with eight state championships.
Outside hitter Cassie Moeller and middle blocker Danikah Johnson provided several highlights for Mead in their final high school match, while sophomores Ava Durgan and Romy Tyler provided a sense of assurance that the Panthers likely will be back next fall.
“We were pretty deep last year and we came back with a pretty strong team this year, and we’re hoping to do it again next year,” Wilson said.
Mead knocked off Bishop Blanchet 25-19, 19-25, 26-24, 25-20 to reach the championship match.
The Bears, however, bounced back to battle past Mt. Spokane 17-25, 27-25, 26-25, 25-22 to take third place in a rematch of the 2016 championship.
The Wildcats’ fourth-place finish was their sixth consecutive top-five trophy.
Gonzaga Prep lost its first two State 4A matches at the Yakima SunDome on Friday.
The Bullpups, swept in the first round by Graham-Kapowsin 25-18, 25-19, 25-14, were eliminated with a 25-21, 25-23, 25-18 loss to North Creek.
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