Defending Class 3A volleyball state champion Capital High School pounced on Snohomish with lethal speed and strength, cruising past the Panthers and into the semifinals on Friday at the Yakima Valley SunDome.
Capital won the match in four sets, but the set-by-set score (25-14, 25-11, 23-25, 25-17) doesn’t convey how dominant the Cougars were.
The Panthers took a 6-3 lead in the first set, but a definitive surge by Capital opened up a 19-9 advantage. The Cougars continually took advantage of Snohomish, overloading their defense to one side.
Capital will play Mount Spokane in the semifinals at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon for a chance to reach the title game for the second consecutive season.
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“We were shooting for making it to Saturday, we checked that goal off,” Capital coach Katie Turcotte said. “The third set definitely was not our strongest, but we came back solid in the fourth set. We’ll take a bad set if we can rally back and win it in the fourth.”
After a tense first set win, 25-22, over Seattle Prep in their opener earlier in the day, the Cougars powered into the quarterfinals, taking the next two sets, 25-13 and 26-24, to advance.
In 4A, Olympia continued its torrid streak and got to the quarterfinals by upending a determined University squad in its opener. But, tall and talented West Valley of Yakima proved too much for the Bears in the following round.
After a 25-21 win in the first set against University, Olympia outlasted the Titans, 32-30, in a well-played second set. The Titans seemed to run out of gas after having many chances to get an equalizer, and fell quickly in the third set, 25-14.
The quarterfinals match against West Valley was almost a home match for the Yakima squad.
With a large contingent of Rams boosters, including a boisterous student section, in the building, Olympia took advantage of a flurry of unforced errors by West Valley for an early 6-1 lead in the first set, and held off a fast closing West Valley rally to win 25-22.
But, the Rams — who have five seniors who signed their National Letters of Intent earlier in the week — roared back to win the second set after trailing 21-17, and then won the final two sets to advance to the semifinals. The final set-by-set scores were 25-22, 22-25, 18-25 and 21-25.
“We came into this with the right kind of attitude,” Olympia coach Laurie Creighton said. “We wanted to try and push these guys and see how they respond. We thought maybe they haven’t been pushed that much.
“We were set to do that kind of a battle with them, and even when they got back on track, we hung in there. There wasn’t a single point or a single set that we quit on.”
Olympia will play Puyallup in a loser-out consolation match at 9 a.m. Saturday. The winner of that match is guaranteed a trophy, and will play for fifth or sixth later in the afternoon.