The volleyball playoffs are still a month away, but a couple of early-season matches last night had that kind of electricity.
The 3A match of the night saw No. 2 Bishop Blanchet beat No. 3 Seattle Prep at Blanchet, 25-22, 25-20, 12-25, 25-23.
The 4A spotlight was down at Graham-Kapowsin, where the No. 7 Eagles knocked off No. 2 Curtis, 24-26, 25-22, 25-21, 25-21.
I’ve communicated with all four coaches and thought I’d share some thoughts. Blanchet coach Matt Chang estimates there were about 600 fans for the Prep match.
“The environment was awesome,” he said. “I love our gym. I love our kids.”
Prep coach Katie Wilson said it was a good learning experience for some of her young players.
“We went into the season saying we wanted to get a little big beter every day,” she said. “Did we get better yesterday? Yeah, I think we got a lot better.”
Blanchet senior Summer Nash was at her best with a match-high 24 kills.
“She came to play,” Wilson said.
She’ll need another big match Wednesday, when the Braves are home again against top-ranked Eastside Catholic. Then they play in the talent-rich Kent Classic, along with Eastside, Prep and six other ranked teams (when you include 2A Selah). Chang said he told his players this could be their most challenging week of the season.
FYI: Blanchet and Prep meet again at Prep on Wednesday, Oct. 7. That will be another tough stretch for the Braves as they then travel to the Spokane Crossover Classic that weekend and follow with the Eastside rematch on Monday, Oct. 12.
Down at G-K, Kayla Reno (Montana) led the way with 23 kills and 15 digs.
“Kayla had the game of her career,” G-K coach Loni Parks said. “Her and the whole team played scrappy defense and weren’t letting any balls drop.”
Curtis coach Jeff Grosshans said it was the best he has ever seen Reno play in a high-school match.
“She was unstoppable,” he said.
Grosshans credited G-K’s play and lamented his team’s 17 hitting errors.
Although both teams are members of the South Puget Sound League 4A South Division, this was a non-counting match. The official league match is on Oct. 20, and Grosshans said he and his players will be “counting the days” until then.
Park said there was a “huge” crowd that was very vocal.
“I couldn’t even hear myself think,” she said. “I have no voice today.”
For those of you who were at either of these matches, I’d love to hear your impressions.