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High School Sports Blog

The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

September 9, 2007 at 10:57 AM

Big beginnings in volleyball, cross country

Enough about football, right?

There’s more to love about high-school sports, and I’d like to talk a little about one of my favorites — volleyball. I’ve kind of become our high-school volleyball “expert,” and I use the term very loosely, since Kentlake won those three state titles in 2000-01-02 behind the efforts of eventual-All American Courtney Thompson, a key cog in the Washington’s national championship a couple of years ago (although Kentlake also had a half-dozen other very talented players, some of whom went on to enjoy successful college careers).

I’ve covered the past five state 4A or 3A tournaments (primarily 4A) and likely will be over in Kennewick for this year’s event (I’m still mad at the Tacoma Dome officials for backing out on that all-classification tournament that was supposed to be there last fall to instead host a Dixie Chicks concert!). Mead of Spokane has been phenomenal, winning four 4A titles in a row, but frankly I’m ready for a West-side champion and we have some candidates in Kentwood of Covington, Rogers of Puyallup and Kamiak of Mukelteo, to mention a few.

Some of the state’s top teams were at Auburn Mountainview yesterday for the Puget Sound Invitational. Kamiak, No. 6 in The Times’ preseason rankings, beat No. 4 Rogers in the title match, 25-23, 25-23. Auburn Riverside, No. 7 in 3A, wound up third. The Ravens lost to Rogers in the semifinals, then beat Shadle Park of Spokane (No. 5 in 4A) in their final contest. Mind you, that third-place match consisted of one game, which Auburn Riverside won 25-15.

Inglemoor played Kamiakin of Kennewick in the match to decide fifth and sixth places, losing 25-22, 25-9. Kamiakin is rated No. 4 in 3A. Mount Si, No. 5 in 3A, was a rather disappointing 12th in the field of 16. Host Auburn Mountainview wound up 10th, beating Mount Si in a tight match along the way (25-22, 22-25, 17-15). Sumner was 13th and Bainbridge (ranked No. 8) took 14th.

We’re going to see some great play in the South Puget Sound League 3A this season. Four of the eight teams made it to state last year (Auburn Mountainview, Auburn Riverside, Enumclaw and Sumner) and it looks like another solid group.

Edmonds-Woodway beat Kennedy of Burien in the championship match of played the Meridian tournament yesterday, 25-22, 20-25, 15-10. Kennedy was the 3A state runnerup last year and comes into this season rated No. 10. I couldn’t find any highlights for Edmonds-Woodway, but Ashley Eneliko led the Lancers on the day with 74 kills, 19 digs and 10 blocks in 15 games. Bianca McCluskey also stood out with 124 assists, 30 digs, 12 aces, eight kills and three blocks.

Edmonds-Woodway just jumped on the radar.

If you’re looking for a hot volleyball match Tuesday, it’s worth the trek to Kentwood, where the second-ranked Conquerors take on No. 9 Tahoma at 7:15 p.m. I’ll be there.

A couple of big cross country invitationals yesterday caught my eye. In the Edmonds-Woodway Invitational, Yonaton Yilma of E-W won the boys title ahead of Lake Stevens’ Joey Bywater, while Samantha Minor of Lake Stevens was the girls champ with Ellie Bonner taking second.

Down South, the Bellarmine Invitaitonal in Tacoma drew some of the state’s top runners. Shadle Park sophomore Andrea Nelson held off Bellarmine Prep senior Nicole Cochran in the girls race. They are expected to go head to head for the 4A title this fall. Nelson was second as a freshman behind Kenna Patrick (now graduated) from Jefferson of Auburn (Federal Way school district). Cochran wound up third, but had a big track season, sweeping both the 1,600 and 3,200.

Skyline’s Simon Sorenson finished second in the boys portion behind Cody VanDeBrake from Eisenhower of Yakima. A very good showing.

There were also a couple of notable soccer performances yesterday. Molly Hennessey notched two goals, while teammate Maddy Mercier had a goal and two assists as Bishop Blanchet edged Enumclaw, 4-3. Serena Tomaso logged two goals and an assist for the Hornets.

Hannah Morse keyed Auburn Mountainview’s 3-0 victory over Central Kitsap with a goal and an assist.

Who else has impessed you in the early going? Time for some of you non-football types (or football-plus types — doesn’t have to be one or the other, right?) to get your two cents’ worth in.

— Sandy Ringer

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