TACOMA – This time, the North Thurston Rams didn’t let their opportunity slip away.
After losing both meetings with Timberline during the regular season, North Thurston’s volleyball team finally broke through on Saturday afternoon at the Class 3A Narrows League tournament at Mount Tahoma High School.
The Rams toppled the previously undefeated Blazers, 21-25, 28-26, 20-25, 25-21 15-10, to wrap up the No. 1 seed heading into next week’s West Central District tournament. Timberline (12-1) will be the No. 2 seed.
“We talked about how great moments are born from great opportunities,” North Thurston coach Micah McBride said. “We had an opportunity to have a great moment tonight, and that’s what we did.”
And as in the previous two meetings between the evenly matched teams, things went according to script, going the maximum five games.
North Thurston (11-2) bounced back after losing the first game, getting a kill from outside hitter Katie Sisson to put the close second game away. After Timberline rebounded to take game three, the Rams had to dig deep.
“We still knew that we had it in us to do it,” said senior Brittany Rutherford, who led the Rams with 28 kills. “It goes back and forth with us and Timberline a lot. We just can’t have a bad attitude. If we have a bad attitude, it will bring our whole team down, so we just had to give each other our word that we weren’t going to get down if we messed up.”
After winning game four, Rams senior Jessica Malchow found a vacant center-floor spot to drop in the match-winner.
“It was so cool to see the kids never get rattled, never get scared being down 2-1 and fighting back — just believing in each other,” McBride said. “… We did some stuff different today that we didn’t do last time and it worked. It’s fun to see the kids fight.”
Tumwater 3, Hockinson 2 (2OT): Hannah Fine’s goal in double overtime capped the Thunderbirds’ come-from-behind victory at Fishback Stadium in Washougal to upset the 2A Greater St. Helens League’s regular-season champion in the opening round of the 2A District IV tournament.
Tumwater will be the road team when it faces rival Black Hills, a 3-2 double-overtime winner over Mark Morris, at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Tumwater District Stadium, in the 2A District IV semifinals. The last time the two teams faced off, Tumwater beat Black Hills, 1-0, in its regular-season finale.
Trailing 2-1 with 15 minutes left in regulation against Hockinson, Abbey Bergquist’s goal via a Mariah O’Neil corner kick was the equalizer. Fine’s game-winner came in the 88th minute, a shot out of the reach of the Hawks’ goalkeeper.
Hockinson has had the edge over Tumwater the past few years, not only in district tournament play, but also in non-league action. In past two years, Hockinson has topped Tumwater, 2-1, and 2-1 in a shootout in District IV tournament play.
“They’ve been our nemesis the past few years,” Tumwater coach Brett Bartlett said. “We had to do some problem-solving.”
Black Hills 3, Mark Morris 2 (2OT): After trailing 2-0 at halftime, the Wolves advance to the semifinals of the 2A District IV tournament after two second-half goals in regulation, followed by the game-winner in double overtime.
Black Hills answered early in the first half with a goal by Joslin Lindsay, then tied it up at 2-all with Arin Seidlitz’s goal in the 78th minute from 25-yards out to send the game into overtime. With two minutes left in double overtime, Whitney Lowe’s shot from 18 yards out gave Black Hills the come-from-behind victory.
“The great thing about these girls this year is they are so resilient,” Black Hills coach Allen Anderson said. “I have so much confidence in this group.”
The Wolves, runners up to W.F. West in the 2A EvCo during the regular season, will host Tumwater, a 3-2 double overtime winner over GSHL champion Hockinson, at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Tumwater District Stadium.
Ridgefield 3, Capital 0: Jordyn Voyles had two goals and an assist in the Spudders’ home victory over the Cougars in the first round of the 2A District IV tournament. The Cougars (10-7), the No. 3 seed from the 2A Evergreen Conference, drop into the consolation bracket and play Aberdeen at home Tuesday in a loser-out game. Aberdeen topped Capital, 2-1, last week.
Olympia sends 3 to state: Olympia’s boys tennis team finished second in the team standings at the 4A West Central/Southwest bi-district tournament Saturday at the Capitol City Tennis and Athletic Center. The Bears will send one singles player and its doubles team to the 4A state meet in May.
Senior John Stormans advanced to the bi-district singles title match where he fell to Federal Way’s Mitch Stewart, 6-2, 6-2. Olympia’s No. 1 doubles team of Nathan Stahley and Chad Wooten placed third, defeating Gig Harbor’s Kyle Jiganti and Bjorn Brynestad in three sets, 5-7, 6-2, 6-3. Olympia’s No. 2 doubles team of Kyle Wooten and William Berghoff will be an alternate to state after falling to Union’s Jacob Buckley and Andrew Bagherpour, 7-5, 6-3.Staff writer Meg Wochnick contributed to this story.