Volleyball falls just short of state playoffs

Mac Fortino

Volleyball entering the district tournament, the chances of going to state were totally in reach for the Lions. They had a strong close to the regular season to finish in 5th place in the SPSL, and were in good position to attempt to make a run for the State tournament.

    The Lions opened with a come from behind victory over the Tahoma Bears, coming back from 2 sets down to best the Bears in the 5th set. The Lions advanced to the second round of the winners bracket, with the winner receiving an automatic bid for State. Unfortunately, the top ranked Puyallup Vikings made quick work of the outmatched Lions, winning in three sets to send the Lions down to the losers bracket.

  The Lions were then matched up with the Kennedy Catholic Lancers in the losers bracket, with the winner also receiving an automatic bid for state. The Lions jumped out to an early lead in set 1, but despite a great performance from the Lions they were once again outmatched and lost a hard fought three set battle to the Lancers.

All hope was not lost, as the Lions had one final chance to earn a bid to state against their fellow 4A SPSL rival, the Olympia Bears. The Bears and Lions had met twice before the game, with the Bears beating the Lions in the regular season but the Lions were able to knock them off at the league tournament.

The Lions won the opening set behind strong defensive plays from senior Libero Ava Collelo, and an impressive offensive performance from junior Bridget Woodruff.

But the Bears were able to come from behind to steal set 2, and dominated the third set to jump out to a 2-1 lead. The 4th set went back and forth between the two teams, ultimately reaching a 24-24 tie before the Bears called a timeout. Unfortunately, the Bears won the final 2 points to win the fourth and game deciding set, punching their ticket to Yakima but causing the Lions season to come to a disappointing end.

The Lions finished one spot away from the tournament, but were able to put together a very successful season, even while competing against the best teams in Washington in the 4A SPSL.