By winning the 3A West Central/Southwest bi-district title – a first in Timberline High volleyball history – coach Krista Manke and the undefeated Blazers got a taste for what they’ll see this weekend at the Class 3A state volleyball tournament in their backyard of Saint Martin’s University.
“Our district is tough,” said Manke, two days after the Blazers captured the program’s first district title by defeating Auburn Mountainview, 3-1. “Playing harder teams and bigger competition sets the tone for what we’re going to face.”
Teams from across the state will be in South Sound for the Class 4A and 3A state volleyball tournaments Friday and Saturday at Saint Martin’s University’s Marcus Pavilion, and at Pierce College in Lakewood for the Class 2A state tournament, featuring Capital and Tumwater.
This weekend’s record-setting feat also propelled the Blazers to their first state rankings this season, in spite being undefeated in best-of-five matches this year. The final statewide coaches poll, released Monday, has the Blazers at No. 3.
“What they showed this weekend,” Manke said of her team, “they have some pretty good potential there.”
Sunday’s 3A state draw put the Blazers on the opposite side of the bracket from Southridge of Kennewick, the state’s top-ranked 3A team all season. Timberline will face Holy Names at 5:15 p.m. Friday, the last first-round match of 3A.
In 2A, Capital opens with Port Angeles at 9:45 a.m. Friday, and Tumwater as the No. 3 seed, drew Washington, the top seed from 2A West Central District, at 8 a.m. Friday. It could be a semifinal collision course for Capital and Tumwater since both teams are on the same side of the bracket. There was a bit of extra incentive for the Cougars to win last weekend’s 2A District IV title, the first in coach Natalie Rhodes’ 12-year tenure: to earn a higher seed and avoid a possible rematch of eastside teams in the first round. The past two years, the Cougars lost opening-round matches to Mount Spokane (3A) and West Valley of Yakima last season, which went on to win the 2A state title.
“I’m glad we didn’t draw West Valley (of Yakima) again,” Rhodes said. “We always ended up getting a draw that wasn’t favorable.”
The state tournaments for girls soccer kick off Tuesday and Wednesday with South Sound teams being represented at Class 4A, 2A, and 1A.
Olympia (13-3-2) travels to face Edmonds-Woodway (14-2-2) at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Edmonds Stadium in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs. It’s the Bears’ first trip to state since 2008 when it lost in the first round to Skyline, 1-0.
On Wednesday, Black Hills (16-2-1), the 2A Evergreen Conference champion, travel to Sumner (14-2-1) at 7 p.m. in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs. Rochester (15-3), the co-1A Southwest Washington Evergreen Division champions, faces Eatonville (16-1) at 6 p.m. at Orting High School.