There are a lot of reasons why I love covering high-school sports.
Today was just another great example.
I’ll admit I wasn’t there to see this. I arrived at the West Central District 4A volleyball tournament at Kentwood in time for the quarterfinals. I was anxious to see what I figured were some predictable match-ups — Auburn Riverside vs. Puyallup, Curtis vs. Gig Harbor, Kentwood vs. Olympia and Graham-Kapowsin against….hmmm, I was thinking Auburn could beat Stadium.
I had the first three pairings right. But boy was I wrong about that last quarterfinal. As I walked toward the big bracket posted on the wall, I saw an Auburn fan leaving in disappointment. The Trojans, who had been enjoying their best season in recent years, had just been eliminated….by G-K.
G-K??? That meant the second-ranked Eagles had lost in the first round to….Tahoma??
Ah, it’s a prime example of why they play these things out. Tahoma came in as the 10th and final seed out of the South Puget Sound League (and had to survive a playoff to even get to the league tournament). G-K, which beat Tahoma 3-0 in a nonleague match a week and a half ago, was the SPSL champ.
“We gave it everything we had,” Tahoma senior Maria Bahlenhorst said.
The Bears went on to beat Stadium of Tacoma to clinch their first state berth since 1978. They play No. 8 Olympia in the semifinals tomorrow at noon. The other semifinal pits No. 3 Curtis against No. 4 Auburn Riverside, and that should be a dandy. Curtis beat AR early in the season. Both teams have improved since then.
All four of those teams have wrapped up state berths, and just two more remain. G-K still has a shot, but must win twice tomorrow — starting with No. 6 Gig Harbor at noon.
Others still alive in the consolation bracket are Kentwood, Bellarmine Prep, Rogers, Stadium, Emerald Ridge and Puayllup.
I figured it might be a wild week and weekend of volleyball, and sure enough it has been If you missed it, Issaquah won the KingCo 4A championship and direct berth to state with a 3-0 victory over No. 9 Woodinville Thursday.
Congratulations to the Eagles, who had some adversity to overcome early in the season as their setter, Riley Sorenson, recovered from a back injury. You can read more about her in a story I’ll be writing for Tuesday.
Woodinville, the regular-season KingCo champ, still has a shot at a state berth tomorrow, and I’ll be pulling for them against the No. 2 Greater St. Helen’s qualifier.
Check back tomorrow and I’ll have some more highlights, especially from the West Central District 4A tournament.