(Lacey, WA) Eli Sports will be covering the 2A State Volleyball Tournament start to finish beginning Friday morning all the way through the Championship match Saturday evening. Below we will have scores and re-caps of each match plus you can listen live to our coverage.
State Championship Match
Saturday 5:30pm Game
Main Court: Tumwater 3, Woodland 0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-18)
The buzz around Tumwater these days is the incredible career of their football coach Sid Otton who is retiring at the end of this season after 43 years and the T-Bird boss. During that time Coach Otton has 6 State Titles to his credit, 1 with a smaller school, Colfax before he got to Tumwater and the the last 5 with the T-Birds. As one Coach Otton prepares to end a run, another Coach Otton is taking a familiar path but she just might go flying by her beloved father.
Tumwater Volleyball Coach Tana Otton racked up State Title #4 Saturday night and is now 2 shy of her father. Her Dad no doubt hopes to add a 7th and final big trophy in 3 weeks but in the end that may not be enough to keep his daughter from topping that accomplishment. Tana Otton also took the same route and her Dad winning her 1st title at Meridian High School before coming to Tumwater where she now has 3.
Otton’s 3rd Tumwater Volleyball Championship was a straight set win over Woodland who had their own Cinderella story going into this finale. We’ll get to that shortly. The Beavers came out hungry and jumped on the T-Birds giving the large Beaver fan base hope they just might knock off the #1 ranked team in the state. In the 1st set Woodland jumped out to a huge 17-9 lead over Tumwater with Elle Nesbitt, Kayla Fredricks, Vanessa Franke and Taylor Foster leading the charge in all aspects, digging, blocking and kill shots.
Cristina Hegarty took-over serving for Tumwater and the T-Birds trailed 17-10. When she got done it was a new game tied at 18-18. Tumwater then pulled away to post a 25-22 1st set win.
Woodland would battle hard over the next 2 sets but Tumwater’s loaded team led by monster hitter Kennedy Croft with solid play from Maddy Pilon, Brooke Hare, Ali Smith, Shae Watson and Bella Najarro was all too much for the heady Beavers who had already made a mighty statement just getting to the Title match.
Tumwater did not lose a set going a perfect 12-0 in the State Tournament. This was not the route Woodland took to get to the main event. The Beavers had their own coaches story as long time Beaver Head Coach Jeff Nesbitt announced this was his last season. Talking with Nesbitt after the match he was just thrilled to get back to state after finishing 4th last season. The Beavers battled through a tough district Tournament taking 3rd and only doing so after surviving 2 loser out contests.
Woodland opened the State Tournament with a hard fought 3-2 win over North Kitsap. A side not, the Vikings would reel off 3 straight wins to finish 7th. After the opening win, Nesbitt saw the light turn on completely for his team and they steamrolled Cheney in the Quarterfinals 3-0 and then ran past White River 3-0 in the Semi-finals also in straight sets.
In the finals Coach Nesbitt said no question they knew it was going to take a perfect match to have a chance at knocking off Tumwater and they would have to make some mistakes. Nesbitt says his team took advantage of the few mistakes the T-Birds made, they just didn’t make enough.
Nesbitt was extremely proud of his team and said there was no better way to end his career than with these girls and at this time. We asked Coach Otton about Nesbitt and she said how could anyone not like Coach Nesbitt and was thrilled for him and his team to get to the finals.
Nesbitt steps down with his daughter Elle who played her final match as a Beaver as she will graduate this Spring. Nesbitt will not be leaving the cupboards bare for the next coach with the likes of sophomores Taylor Foster, Elyse Booker and Gelina Wakefield coming back as a solid core to build around.
Tumwater will be losing a ton of Seniors, Hegarty, Pilon, Smith, Hare, Najarro but coming back will be Otton’s daughter Kennedy Croft, Mia Basso and Savannah Sleasman is pretty good starting point to re-load.
Saturday 3pm Games
7th Place Game Court 1: North Kitsap 3, Fife 0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-17)
The Vikings had played every match in an up and down fashion losing their opening match 3-2 to Woodland then beat Steilacoom 3-1 in an elimination match last night. In their Saturday opener, they again went 5 sets knocking Bellingham out of the tournament to advance to the 7th place match where they faced Fife.
The Trojans also took a bumpy road to a state placing match losing their opener to Burlington-Edison 3-0 but the 1st set was 26-24 and the Tigers finished the job in 3. Fife stayed alive with a win yesterday in the consolation bracket over Pullman 26-24, 28-26 and 25-16 to get to day 2. Fife would knock Sequim in 4 sets after losing the 1st set 26-24 and then in the match with the Vikings they simply fell short.
Outstanding performances from both teams in this tournament for the Vikings Briannen Duchemin, Elena Vasquez and Olivia Selembo among others while Maddison Licari, Teagan Downs and Maddie Scott shined for the Trojans.
5th Place Game Court 2: Burlington-Edison 3, Ridgefield 2 (23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 16-25, )
The Tigers outlasted Ridgefield in a marathon match, bouncing back from a match-evening loss in the fourth set to win the tie-breaker. Afton Field was hnge for the Tigers in the match, scoring time and again with kills from the left side. Libero Rachel King and setter Katie King kept the ball moving forward and Gracie Terwilliger also played well on offense.
Ridgefield was led by a variety of hitters, Serena Bartley, Madi Harter and Annika Nicoll. Sophomore Kameryn Reynolds had several key kills and blocks. Libero Maddy Campbell returned serve time and again for the Spudders and setter Bella Gama kept the hitters fed.
3rd Place Game Court 3: ArchBishop Murphy 3, White River 0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-17)
Bouncing back from a painful semi-final loss to Tumwater, the Wildcats were all business against the Hornets. Sam Hayward had nice all-around numbers with 19 kills, 15 digs and two blocks while Jaime Cymbaluk registered 23 kills and six digs. Libero Gaby Flake tallied 21 digs for Archbishop Murphy.
Kendall Bird and Keegan Strobeck kept the offense going for White River.
Saturday 1pm Games
Court 1: Tumwater 3, ArchBishop Murphy 0 ( 25-11, 25-23, 25-22)
The Tumwater T-Birds were ready for this and came out firing jumping out to a big early lead in the 1st set behind the killing machine Kennedy Croft, the blocker Ali Smith and all everything Cristina Hegarty. But this was not an individual effort, no way to beat a team as good as AB Murphy without everyone pitching in and Maddy Pilon, Shae Watson and Brooke Hare were also stars in this match.
The Wildcats were somewhat shellshocked in the 1st set but came back strong in the 2nd set pushing the T-Birds deep before the T-Birds surged at the end of the match to take a lagte 2-point lead 22-20 and then basically traded points until the win to lead 2-0. In the deciding set Tumwater was down early but came back and held the Wildcats at a steady 2-3 point deficit and put away the match in 3-straight.
Tumwater will play Woodland for the Championship where Coach Tana Otton will be looking for her 2nd State Title.
Court 3: Woodland 3, White River 0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-11)
Woodland made sure they advanced to the championship with an outstanding start-to-finish performance against a White River team that had played impressively in Friday’s matches. With Elle Nesbitt delivering precise sets to the Beaver’s “F Troop” of big hitters, Taylor Foster, Vanessa Franke and Kayla Fredricks, Woodland was never seriously threatened.
White River got some big kills from 6-foot-2 Kendall Bird, but Woodland was able to limit them. Keegan Strobeck and Hannah Nelson provided some offenser while Megan Vandergrift and Noelle Mills played well defensively.
The Beavers will now face Tumwater and try to send their beloved coach Jeff Nesbitt into retirement with a State Championship. Coach Nesbitt has been at the helm of Beaver Volleyball for 31 years and will end it in the State Championship match.
Court 2: Tumwater 3, Burlington-Edison 0 (25-8, 25-21, 28-26)
The Thunderbirds appeared bound for an easy win after the first set, but Burlington-Edison made nearly every point tough in sets two and three to make the Tumwater sweep more challenging than it appeared. The T-Birds got stellar serving from Cristina Hegarty and a typically powerful hitting performance by junior Kennedy Croft. Front row players Bella Najarro and Savannah Sleasman contributed timely blocks and kills.
Burlington-Edison’s big hitters were AWOL in the first set, but made their presence felt in the next two. Gracie Terwilliger kept the T-Birds back on their heels as did Afton Field. In the third set, the Tigers led most of the way then forced overtime and led 25-24 before falling.
Court 3: ArchBishop Murphy 3, Ellensburg 0 (25-10, 25-15, 25-17)
Ellensburg got some good hitting from Payton Lyski and Dalee Adams, but couldn’t mount a series threat to the Wildcats who, like Tumwater, made it into the semi-finals without losing a set. Tiffany Waterman and Tia Andraya shone in places.
The Wildcats continued their big hitting from their morning match behind Sam Hayward and Jamie Cymbaluk. Claire Doud provided a versatile array defense, serving and hitting.
Court 1: Woodland 3, Cheney 0 (25-15, 25-17, 25-19)
The Beavers took all 5 sets to beat North Kitsap the morning of day 1 and apparently were ready to break out in the Quarterfinals as they took an early lead in each of the 1st two sets and then would keep the Cheney Black Hawks at arms length to roll out to a 2-0 lead, 25-15 and 25-17. Taylor Foster was a beast at the net with great ball handling from Ellie Nesbitt and Elyse Booker.
In the 3rd set it looked like Cheney wasn’t ready to rollover and jumped out to a healthy early lead. The Beavers with a total team effort chipped away at that lead and would pull into a tie at 12-12 and then would pull away. Kayla Fredericks, Vanessa Franke and Gelina Wakefield were solid as rocks for the Beavers. Cheney got big efforts from Kd Skillingstad, Rylie Pease and Alexandrea Jones but they could not deny Woodland.
The Beavers will now play in the Semi-Finals tomorrow at 1p while Cheney will play in a loser out at 11am.
Court 3: White River 3, Ridgefield 1 (25-21, 17-25, 25-21, 25-23)
White River used the big lefthanded hitting of 6-foot-2 Kendall Bird, but also the more subtle play of undersized hitters and blockers Kelsey Bunker (5-6) and Noelle Mills (5-3). Libero Megan Vandergrift provided some back row defense against the Spudders’ array of bit hitters and Keegan Strobeck turned in some outstanding offense from both the front and back rows.
Ridegfield couldn’t get as consistent and offense going as it would have liked but hitters Serena Bartley, Madi Harter and Annika Nicoll had some big moments. Libero Maddy Campbell was put to the test by Hornet servers and hitters alike and kept the ball in play far more often than not. Setter Bella Gama did a nice job both putting her hitters in position to score and at the service line as well.
Consolation Bracket (Loser Out)
Saturday 9AM Games
Court 1: Fife 3, Sequim 1 (24-26, 25-23, 25-21, 25-10)
The Trojans overcame a deep hole and went on an amazing scoring run to come from behind and eliminate the Wolves. Sequim began the tournament with a 25-3 loss to ArchBishop Murphy and then came back to nearly beat the Wildcats in the 3rd set losing 25-23. The Wolves then rallied back with a 3-1 win over Orting and looked like they were on their way to at least a 2-1 lead over Fife when they led the 3rd set 17-9.
The Trojans decided this was not yet their time and kicked in a crazy scoring run going 16-4 to win the 3rd set 25-21 and then a 25-10 win in the 4th set to clinch a spot in the 7th place match with North Kitsap. That was a total of a 41-14 run to finish off the Wolves. Madison Lacari had several big points for the Trojans during this run with great play from Casonndrah Polo, Teagan Downs and Maddie Scott.
Court 2: North Kitsap 3, Bellingham 2 (22-25, 25-17, 18-25, 25-14, 16-14)
The match ended in disappointing fashion for the Red Raiders, who were called for a rotation violation on match point, losing without a serve being made by North Kitsap. Bellingham got some scoring throughout from Christina Fanello, Olivia Ferguson and Jocelyn Johnson and survived a minor injury that kept Molly Ferguson out for much of the fourth set when Danielle Miller came off bench to fill in admirably.
Briannam Duchemin lifted the Vikings on her 6-foot shoulders with monster hits whenever she could be set on the left side by Rae Rosenquist or Hope Doherty. North Kitsap’s depth was also a factor in the narrow victory as Elena Vasquez, Olivia Salembo and Hannah Waterman also contributed some big points.
Saturday, 11AM Games Winners play for 5th
Court 1: Burlington-Edison 3, Ellensburg 2 (25-16, 25-20, 20-25, 22-25, 15-11)
The Tigers came out with fire in their eyes and rolled to a quick 2-0 lead over the Bulldogs who looked like they were ready to go home. Ellensburg then woke up and pressed the Tigers big time and would not go away pushing the match to a 2-2 standstill.
In the 5th and deciding match the 2 teams were ding-donging back and forth when B-E then surged and pulled away over the Bulldogs to secure a spot in the 5th place match against Ridgefield.
Court 3: Ridgefield 3, Cheney 1 (17-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-23)
Ridgefield came out for the first game perhaps still feeling the effects of its tough loss to White River in the opening round Friday night and immediately got down 6-0 in the first set, going on to lose it. But the second and third sets were all Spudders and in the fourth Ridgefield rallied from a game-long deficit right at the end to shoot past Cheney and advance.
Outside hitter Serena Bartley was at her best in the final game, collecting four kills down the stretch. Madi Harter and Annika Nicoll also had some big swings and libero Maddy Campbell was strong defensively. Cheney was led by the all-around play of Rylie Pease and the crafty ball placement of middle hitter Kd Skillingstad. Taylor Gould had her share of kills for the Blackhawks.
Court 1: Fife 3, Pullman 0 (26-24, 28-26, 25-16)
The Trojans would take early leads in each set but in the 1st 2 the Greyhounds battled back not only to get into the matches they would force OT’s. In the 1st match as the Trojans tried to close out the match leading 25-24, the Hounds returned a shot high and it hit the St Martins University Basketball hoop that is tucked away well above the Hardwood floor. The hoop is out of bounds and the Trojans won the match.
What’s that saying, it’s deja vu all over again but this time after falling behind early the Greyhounds came roaring back and again forced extra panels and once again trailing this time 27-26 they would hit the ball into the hoop losing the set 28-26. In the 3rd set Fife would sprint to an early lead and never give it back completing the 3-0 sweep. Fife will play Saturday morning at 9am and with a win will play for the 7th place trophy. Pullman had their season come to an end.
Court 2: Sequim 3, Orting 1 (25-20, 25-10, 17-25, 25-19)
Redemption is the word for the Wolves. Sequim began the day with an embarrassing 25-3 loss to ArchBishop Murphy. They lost the 2nd set to the Wildcats with a competitive 25-17 score and then nearly handed the Wildcats a loss falling short in the 3rd set 25-23.
The Wolves took that momentum into their consolation bracket match with Orting and jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Adrienne Haggerty and Ella Christiansen dominated up front as the Wolves pressed hard bouncing back after that disastrous start. Orting would not roll over however and fought back for a 3rd set win led by Sarah Fohn and Holly Thomas. Orting would win the 3rd but could not deny Sequim who fell behind early in the fourth but wore them down for a 3-1 win. Sequim will now play Fife Saturday morning and a win will get them in the 7th place trophy match. The Cardinals had their season come to an end.
Court 3: North Kitsap 3, Steilacoom 1 (25-19, 25-10, 17-25, 25-19)
The Vikings were pushed to a 5th set in the opening round and fell short to Woodland and came out in the consolation bracket on fire winning 25-19 and then 25-10. Steilacoom refused to let their season end without a fight, though, winning the fourth set and taking the early lead in the fourth. Even when the Vikings rallied, Steilacoom hung around long enough for the last tie to be at 15-15.
North Kitsap got some timely hitting from Briannan Duchemin, Hannah Waterman and Elena Vasquez. Rae Rosenquist provided strong serving and defense. The Sentinels lead extended to 13-8 on a service run by freshman Saisha Morales while Nneka Amamilo’s hitting and enthusiasm fueled the Steilcoom comeback. Sophia Spoja delivered several clutch kills.
Court 1: Bellingham 3, Selah 0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-23)
The Red Raiders bounced back from a disappointing opening effort and surprised some on-lookers for their tenacious win over a very good Selah team. The Raiders would have an answer every time Selah made a run and in the end the Vikings could not find the winning combination to stay alive for day 2 and had their season come to an end.
Bellingham had big efforts from several including the libero Sophia Lawrence along with Molly Ferguson and Jocelyn Johnson. Bellingham will play North Kitsap Saturday morning in a loser out contest. The Raiders are 1 win away from the 7th place trophy match.
1st Round Match-Ups
Court 1: Burlington-Edison 3, Fife 0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-13)
The Tigers will now play Tumwater in the Quarterfinals at 5pm, Fife faces Pullman at 3 in a loser out contest.
Court 2:Tumwater 3, Pullman 0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-18)
Tumwater advances to the Quarterfinals against Burlington-Edison at 5p while Pullman gets Fife at 3 in a loser out.
Court 3: Orting vs Ellensburg 3, Orting 0 (26-24, 25-17, 25-10)
The Bulldogs advance in the Winner’s Bracket to the Quarterfinals at 5pm against ArchBishop Murphy, while the Cardinals will play a loser out contest at 3pm with Sequim.
Court 1: ArchBishop Murphy 3, Sequim 0 (25-3, 25-17,25-23)
The Wildcats jumped out hard on the Wolves and finished with the shut out win. ABM now faces Ellensburg in the Quarterfinals at 5pm. The Wolves will play at 3 against Orting in a loser out.
Court 2: Woodland 3, North Kitsap 2 (15-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-23, 15-11)
The Beavers battled back for a 3-2 win and now will advance to the Quarterfinals at 7p tonight against Cheney while the Vikings are in a must win at 3pm against Steilacoom.
Court 3: Cheney 3, Steilacoom 0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-22)
The BlackHawks were steady with a straight sets win to set up a trip to the Quarterfinals against Woodland. The Sentinels with the loudest cheering section so far fell short in their opener and will play North Kitsap at 3pm in a loser out game.
Court 1: Ridgefield 3, Bellingham 0 (25-11, 25-13, 25-8)
The Spudders were simply dominant and now will get the White River Hornets in Quarterfinal play tonight at 7pm. The Red Raiders will play Selah in a loser out at 5p.
Court 3: White River 3, Selah 0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-18)
The Hornets ground out a hard fought 3-0 sweep to advance to the Quarterfinals against Ridgefield at 7p, Selah falls into the consolation against Bellingham at 5p.