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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

District volleyball: Mead gets off to quick start in sweep of rival Mt. Spokane to claim 3A district title

Mead’s Ava Durgan gets one of her 13 kills against Mt. Spokane during the District 8 3A championship game Thursday at Mead High School.  (Madison McCord/For The Spokesman-Review)
By Madison McCord The Spokesman-Review

Even though Mead and Mt. Spokane had their tickets punched to next weekend’s state tournament, there was still plenty on the line during Thursday’s District 8 3A title game.

There was state seeding and momentum to consider, but both of those took a back seat to beating a rival, according to Mead senior setter Brielle Wilson.

“The rivalry definitely had a factor in how we came out tonight,” Wilson said. “But this also gives us a ton of momentum to come off a strong win like that.”

Mead (16-2) came out quickly and didn’t slow down en route to a 25-15, 25-11, 25-12 sweep of the Wildcats in front of a vocal home crowd.

Mead jumped out to an 8-1 lead to open the match and followed that with a 6-1 run to open the second set and a 15-2 start in the third.

Wilson said a quick jolt to the scoreboard was key in winning a high-intensity postseason match like this one.

“Our main focus toward the end of this season has been starting each set strong and getting a big lead,” Wilson said. “We really struggled with that early in the year. We’re seeing the improvements and it showed again tonight.

Wilson had 22 assists for a potent Panthers attack, which was spearheaded by junior middle Ava Durgan’s 13 kills. Mead also had success from the service line with nine aces.

The Panthers and Wildcats will be joined at state by the winner of Saturday’s third-place match between Ferris and Ridgeline, making it three Greater Spokane League teams to state out of the district shared with the Mid-Columbia Conference.

The state tournament will take place Nov. 17-18 at the Yakima Valley SunDome .

“We said from the start that if you make it to state out of this league, you’ve been tested,” Mt. Spokane coach Laurie Quigley said. “I think it surprised some people when Ferris went down and beat the (Mid-Columbia) top seed Kennewick in the opener, but I wasn’t surprised at all.”

Coming into Thursday’s match, the Panthers sat at No. 5 in the WIAA’s RPI rankings and the Wildcats (11-4) were 10th.

Now the focus for both turns to improving last year’s second- and fourth-place state finishes, respectively.

“We just need to keep working on our consistency. That was one of our most consistent games of the year and we need to maintain that into state,” Wilson said.

• Gonzaga Prep falls to Kamiakin in 4A title match: Top-seeded Kamiakin defended its home court and handed second-seeded Gonzaga Prep a 25-21, 22-25, 25-18, 25-17 defeat in the District 8 4A championship game in Kennewick.

Kamiakin advances to the state tournament with the victory.

The Bullpups will battle GSL foe Lewis and Clark on Saturday at Gonzaga Prep for the second and final state berth.

The sixth-seeded Tigers swept host Chiawana 25-19, 25-23, 25-14 in Pasco in the loser-out contest.

Gonzaga Prep swept Lewis and Clark in their lone meeting this season.

The State 4A tournament also takes place Nov. 17-18 at the Yakima Valley SunDome.