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High School Sports Blog

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

October 29, 2007 at 7:21 AM

Volleyball, volleyball everywhere

It’s the time of year when I wish I could clone myself and be at two or three (or five) places at the same time.

It’s crunch time in volleyball the next two weeks, which means I’ve seen my last football game until the quarterfinals. I’m wondering if there will be any South end teams left to cover by then. The brackets look pretty wide open to me for the most part. What do you think?

That last game I saw was Kentwood against Kentlake. It was good to see Demitrius Bronson back in action and what a difference he makes for the Conquerors. He’s still not 100% with that ankle injury — a healthy Bronson doesn’t get caught from behind before reaching the goalline, like he did Friday night. But even at 85-90%, Bronson is special and gives Kentwood a chance in any game, although I expect they’ll have their hands full this week with Snohomish.

But let’s get back to volleyball. I was torn between two tournaments on Saturday –the SPSL 4A tourney and SPSL 3A/Seamount sub-district. I chose 4A because that’s what I’ll be covering at state and I wanted to see that showdown between No. 2 Kentwood and No. 7 Rogers of Puyallup.

I wasn’t disappointed. Kentwood (28-0) won in four, dropping only its second game of the season. But the other three were all close and easily could have gone the other way. Rogers (27-4-2) features possibly the league’s best player in junior Ashleigh Pollard , who really packs some punch.

But Kentwood is so balanced and rarely gets rattled. I wouldn’t be surprised to see those two teams meet again this weekend at the West Central 4A District tournament at Kentwood. It’s worth the trip out to Covington, believe me — especially if you can’t get to Kennewick the following weekend for state, where I expect both to do very well.

Had I gone to the SPSL 3A/Seamount tourney instead, I wouldn’t have been disappointed either. I kind of figured No. 3 Auburn Riverside and No. 5 Kennedy would wind up in the final, and they did. Riverside won in five, thanks largely to the play of their dynamic duo — Brooke Bray and Dominika Kristinikova, their exchange student from Slovakia. Coach Chris Leverenz said Kristinikova, a setter who also hits extremely well, is getting more involved in the offense, which should only make the Ravens (27-3) more dangerous. I’ve heard she has a wicked serve.

Leverenz was impressed with the play of Kennedy’s Ashley Eneliko, a junior who had 31 kills, seven stuffs and 11 digs in that match.

Again, those two teams could have a rematch at the West Central/Southwest 3A District tournament at Auburn Mountainview. It’s a quality field that also includes No. 10 Enumclaw, which took a game off Kennedy on Saturday and appears to be playing its best volleyball at the right time. Sumner is dangerous when clicking, although the Spartans have struggled as of late. No. 7 Camas also should qualify.

The area’s other district volleyball tournaments should be entertaining, too. Bishop Blanchet, the defending 3A champion currently ranked No. 1, headlines the Sea-King 3A tournament that also features No. 4 Mercer Island, No. 8 Newport and No. 9 Skyline. Wish I could be there, too.

Woodinville appears to be the class of KingCo 4A, but almost anything can happen at tournament time.

Up North, I’d love to see another 4A showdown between No, 5 Monroe and No. 6 Kamiak, wouldn’t you?

We can’t be everywhere, unfortunately. Where are you going to be Friday and Saturday?

— Sandy Ringer

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