Sometimes you just have to tip your cap and move on.
And that is what the second-ranked Tumwater High School volleyball team did after finishing third Saturday at the Kent Volleyball Classic at Kentwood High School.
A week after edging Class 4A powerhouse Bellarmine Prep in five sets in a non-league match in Tumwater, the Thunderbirds were beaten by the Lions in the tournament semifinals Saturday.
Led by standouts McKenzie Schwan and Hannah Pukis, Bellarmine Prep defeated the Thunderbirds, 25-22, 25-19. It was Tumwater’s first match loss of any kind this season.
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Bellarmine Prep swept Gonzaga Prep, 25-19, 25-19, in the championship finals.
“They are a great team, and last week we battled them in five (sets),” Tumwater coach Tana Otton said. “In a quick two-out-of-three-sets match, especially on tired legs, you never know what is going to happen with two good teams.
“Today we were on the other end of it.”
Tumwater won both round-robin matches in pool play, winning six of eight sets against Kentwood (2-0), Skyline (1-1), Skyview (2-0) and Bothell (1-1).
And in the championship quarterfinals, Tumwater came back to beat Lake Stevens, 15-25, 25-12, 15-8, to earn a rematch with Bellarmine Prep, the eighth-ranked team in 4A, and 2013 Kent Classic winners.
Bellarmine Prep jumped out to an 18-11 lead in the first set, saw Tumwater closed it to 24-22, but clinched it on Schwan’s crosscourt kill.
The two schools were tied 11-11 in the second set before the Lions ripped off seven consecutive points.
Bellarmine Prep’s Allana McCollum had two blocks and a kill during the span.
“We were getting blocked all over,” Otton said.
Tumwater was coming off an eight-day layoff after its last match — a straight-set triumph over Olympia.
“We are a little stale right now,” Otton said. “A week of practice is a long time. We tried to shorten things up. Each day was a new focus — we tried to do something a little bit different.”
But at the end of a long tournament day Saturday, Otton noticed that her team was worn down.
“Our legs were definitely getting a little tired in that last game,” Thunderbirds outside hitter Brooke Hare said.
Gonzaga commit Kennedy Croft led Tumwater with 12 kills, three blocks and 15 digs in the semifinal against Bellarmine Prep.
In the second-flight championship, Capital walloped Columbia River, 25-10, 25-22. The Cougars reached that title match by edging Snohomish, 25-21, 23-25, 15-8 in the semifinals.