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Tekoa-Oakesdale players celebrate Saturday after sweeping Colton in the final. (Associated Press)

Tekoa-Oakesdale repeats as State 1B champion

YAKIMA – It took Tekoa-Oakesdale a half-game to get its footing, but once the Nighthawks found themselves they polished off league rival Colton 25-19, 25-22, 25-18 on Saturday to win their second straight State 1B volleyball title at the SunDome.

The rivals opened and closed the season with each other. T-O won all four matches between the teams this year. Colton finished second for the second straight year.

“Our team has been like that,” Nighthawks coach Brandy Brown said of her team’s tepid start. “I guess they like a challenge.”

Colton controlled the tempo early in the first game.

After trailing 8-3 and 11-5, T-O took the lead at 13-12 and never trailed again.

“Our kids know they have to push every single point,” Brown said. “We remind them that every single point counts.

Brown singled out senior setter Katie Renstrom as a key to Saturday’s – and the season’s – success.

“As the only senior this year, she’s really had to step up.”

“They’re that type of team,” Colton coach Kalli Dahman said. “They’re the only team that beat us this year.”

Colton dropped 2009 champ St. John-Endicott 18-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-22, while Tekoa-Oakesdale handled Almira/Coulee-Hartline 25-16, 25-15, 25-16 to set up the repeat of the 2011 title match.

ACH handled St. John-Endicott with relative ease in the third-place game. The Warriors added that trophy to their 2010 championship plaque.

Wilbur-Creston advanced by beating Shoreline Christian 25-22, 20-25, 25-19, 25-17 and then defeated Odessa-Harrington 27-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-18 in the fifth-place game. Odessa-Harrington defeated Three Rivers Christian 25-9, 25-16, 25-9 in the earlier consolation round.