It wasn’t exactly the finish the Jackson volleyball team had in mind.
But when all was said and done, the Timberwolves came away from the Durango Fall Classic in Las Vegas with more good feelings than bad.
The team’s goal was to finish in the top-eight at the prestigious tournament, which would have put them in the Gold Bracket. The T-Wolves won their pool on Friday and then pulled out a thrilling 2-1 match to earn a shot at getting into that bracket. But Saturday morning they fell to Pleasant Grove of Utah, 25-23, 25-23. That dropped them into the Silver Bracket, where they went 2-1 and wound up 11th.
I spoke with coach Ashley Allen about it this morning. She said her players were very disappionted after losing to Pleasant Grove, but she was pleased with the way they responded as they beat Long Beach Poly in the next round, 2-0.
“They bounced back, which I was really happy to see, that they can take a loss like that and bounce back from it and win the next game they play,” Allen said. “It wasn’t what we wanted, but I was really happy with how we performed.
“I thnk after the tournament was over, the girls were pretty happy with how it went, as well. Obviously, they would have liked to finish in the top-eight, but they know it’s a good tournament and the teams are pretty good, so 11th isn’t too bad.
After beating Long Beach Poly, the Timberwolves lost a three-setter to ‘Iolani of Hawaii, which went on to claim the Silver Bracket and place ninth. Again bounced back and beat Lakewood (CA) to finish 11th.
Jackson is ranked No. 1 in Washington in Class 4A and was No. 15 in PrepVolleyball.com’s national poll. The team likely will fall in the next national rankings, since neither of the teams they lost to were ranked. Pleasant Grove wound up seventh.
All in all, though, I’d say the Timberwolves did a nice job of representing our state, and Allen agreed.
“We really wanted to represent Washington State well, so we were pretty happy about that,” she said.