Although I was concentrating on the Class 3A state volleyball tournament, I got to watch a fair amount of the 4A matches, too – at least until the championships, which were played simultaneously.
Matt Massey did a great job covering the 4A event for us, and you can ready his final story here.
For all completed brackets, go here and selected the classification you are interested in.
Three pleasant surprises, for me, were Curtis (fourth), Tahoma (sixth) and Gig Harbor (seventh). All three came in unranked (my bad obviously – I think I had Curtis ranked earlier in the season, but just wasn’t sure how strong Tahoma was, coming out of a very balanced SPSL North Division, and Gig Harbor had been up and down).
Kudos to all three squads. Curtis reached the semis for the second straight year and has a habit of peaking at the right time.
The two biggest disappointments in my eyes (and probably theirs) were No. 8 Snohomish (0-2) and No. 9 Skyline (1-2) – I thought both had trophy possibilities (top eight take home hardware). And I thought No. 3 Central Valley of Spokane would fare better than eighth (2-2).
I wasn’t surprised to see No. 5 Battle Ground push No. 1 Bellarmine Prep to five sets in the semifinals – junior Brooke Van Sickle is a national-level player and at one point in the season I had the Tigers ranked above the Lions. I did expect No. 2 Emerald Ridge to push Bellarmine more in the final, rather than going down in straight sets (and none closer than 25-18).
After the semifinals, someone told me that ER was going to win the title easily, but I wasn’t buying that. Oh, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see the Jags ultimately win, but knew it wouldn’t be easy against the team that has now won three consecutive championships.
Can they make it four? With a frosh like Hannah Pukis to build around (she just missed the all-tournament team), and a coach like Jody DeGroot, they could definitely be in the mix again.
It was a great three-year run by Emerald Ridge, led by hitter Jenna Mullen and setter Isabella Zubrod, both seniors – and the younger Jaguars believe they’ll be back at state, too.