KENT - Olympia volleyball coach Laurie Creighton thought her Bears would fare well at the West Central/Southwest District III tournament.
But when it came time to take the court at Kentwood High School, the Bears put talk aside, and let their play do the talking.
The Bears became the second Narrows League team to win the District III title, defeating Graham-Kapowsin, 24-26, 25-7, 25-21, 25-20, on Saturday.
In 2005, Bellarmine Prep won the District III title.
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This is the Bears’ first district crown since leaving District IV in 1998.
“I’m really proud of the kids for how steady they stayed, and how they’ve improved,” said Creighton, whose team lost last year’s district title final to Curtis. “It was a good win. It was a big win.”
The district crown means the Bears earn the No. 1 seed at the Class 4A state tournament, which starts Thursday at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.
Olympia swept all of its previous opponents 3-0 – Rogers, Kentwood and Stadium – to reach the finals. The Eagles took the first set, 26-24 in the title match, but the Bears responded by dominating, 25-7 in the second set. That momentum carried over into the final two sets.
Lauren Herseth, the Narrows League co-MVP, had another solid all-around performance with 15 kills, 16 digs and five serving aces. Christie Colasurdo had 14 kills and 12 digs, and 6-foot-4 middle hitter Michaela Berendt had eight kills and a team-high six blocks.
Black Hills repeats: For the second straight year, Black Hills earned the District IV title, and a No. 1 seed into the 2A state tournament after its 25-21, 20-25, 25-21, 17-25, 15-11 victory over Tumwater in Longview.
“It was amazing and incredible,” Wolves coach Kara Peterson said.
The Wolves and T-Birds shared the Evergreen Conference regular-season title.
Both Tumwater and Black Hills clinched a state berth by playing in the district title match. Whitney Martin had a team-high 21 kills and 11 digs, Kendra Henry had nine kills, 21 digs, and Brittney Lazaro had 43 assists.
River Ridge and Woodland played for the third and final berth to the state tournament, but match details were not available by press time.
Capital places 4th, Timberline 5th at WCD3: The top two teams from the 3A Narrows League will be represented at the state tournament for the second straight year. Capital lost two hard-fought matches to Kennedy (3-1) and Auburn Moutainview (3-2). It’s the first time Capital has lost since dropping a 3-2 match to Timberline earlier this season.
“We know what to expect,” coach Natalie Zukowski said. “It will be a learning experience. It will help us in the long run.”
Kristyn Ross had 25 kills and 27 digs against Auburn Mountainview. Gabi Vega had 56 assists, and Aria Goodman and Danielle Tabor had 13 kills apiece.
Timberline won three straight matches, including defeating Prairie in the final, to earn the fifth and final state berth. The Blazers swept Enumclaw and Peninsula, 3-0, and beat Prairie, 3-2. Gatalina Schuster combined for 82 assists in three matches, and Alyssa Kellar had 41 kills.
Morton/White Pass 26, Northwest Christian 7: The Navigators fell victim to the Morton/White Pass combined team in their first playoff game in the program’s 5-year history. Steven Dunn scored Northwest Christian’s touchdown on a 64-yard run.
Chehalis 12, R.A. Long 10: Bearcats kicker Ian Ward drilled a 20-yard field goal with one minute remaining to send fourth-ranked Chehalis to the first round of the 2A state playoffs.
Ward’s game-winning field goal came when the Bearcats trailed 10-9. It was Ward’s second field goal of the game; he also connected on a 31-yard field goal for the game’s first points.
The Bearcats will play No. 1-ranked Archbishop Murphy next weekend.
Capital places third: The Cougars finished third at the West Central District meet with 148 team points, led by senior Amanda Clark. Clark placed first in the 200 freestyle (1:57.79) and 500 freestyle (5:12.42). Hansi Willoughby had a third-place finish in the 50-yard free (25.85) and fourth in the 100 free (56.48). Gwyn Browning was third in the 100 butterfly (1:08.19). All three were part of the Cougars’ 400 free relay (second, 4:02.87) and 200 medley relay (fourth, 2:03.25).
Rams win District IV title: North Thurston scored 358.5 points to easily win the 2A District IV title at the Evergreen State College.
The Rams didn’t win any individual titles, but outscored second-place Aberdeen (262). River Ridge’s Shanell Sullenberger had individual victories in the 200 free, and 100 breaststroke and also was part of the Hawks’ winning 200 medley relay.
Tumwater’s 200 and 400 free relays captured titles.