LACEY – In a clash between the previous two state champions, Jackson had a little too much front-line firepower toward the end as the Timberwolves edged Olympia, 3-1, in the third-/fourth-place match at the Class 4A state volleyball championships at Saint Martin’s University.
Jackson won 28-26, 25-21, 20-25, 25-22 to finish the year 18-2. The Timberwolves’ only losses came against the two state finalists. Bellarmine Prep faced Mead in the final late Saturday.
Olympia, which was slowed by several injuries earlier in the year, finished 14-9.
“I never would have thought a fourth-place trophy would feel better than winning a state championship, but this does,” Olympia senior Michaela Berendt, a key member of last year’s title squad who will play at Villanova next year. “We overcame so much this season. Every time we stepped out on the court we made a commitment to improve, and we did that. This just feels so amazing.”
Jackson led 16-10 to open the first set before Olympia rallied, taking a 26-25 lead on a Rachel Kelson kill.
The Timberwolves, however, scored the final three points with a Summer Adams block sealing the win, 28-26.
The Bears enjoyed a 21-18 lead in the second set, but Jackson closed things out on a 7-0 run, capped by a kill from Emmy Allen, to grab the 2-0 advantage.
Berendt put Olympia up 20-16 in the third set with a kill before the Bears rolled to the 25-20 victory.
A barrage of Allen kills turned a close fourth set in favor of Jackson as the senior registered the final two points on the attack for the Timberwolves, leading to the 25-22 win and the match.
The Bears saw their hopes of successfully defending their title end earlier in the day after getting swept in the semifinals by Mead, 25-23, 25-17, 36-34.
Kelson, a junior, had 14 kills and six digs against the Panthers, while sophomore Sydney Shafer added 12 digs. Senior Tiana McIntosh paced the Olympia offense with 31 assists.
Jackson, the 2010 state champion, was also swept in the semifinals, losing 3-0 to Bellarmine Prep. Camas swept Puyallup, 25-22, 25-21, 25-23, for fifth place. Auburn Riverside swept Richland, 25-14, 25-12, 25-20, for seventh.