Sequoia Lofton is the person you love to play with and hate to play against.
And she’s typically quite a “killer” for the Central Valley Bears. But it wasn’t the 5-foot-11 senior’s hitting that took center stage on Thursday night.
It was her nine aces, some powerful hitting from a handful of players, and the Bears’ scrappy defense that led to Central Valley’s 25-20, 25-15, 25-21 sweep of visiting Lewis and Clark in a District 8 4A volleyball match.
“I was really happy with how we played for the most part,” CV coach Chris Kosty said. “I thought we got a lot better as the match went on.”
And how does Kosty feel about a player like Lofton – who transferred in from West Valley, where she played as a freshman, sophomore and junior?
“She is just fun,” he said. “So … gosh … just so much fun to watch. It’s too bad we’ve only got her for a year.”
But the Bears are hoping to make the most of that year, and Thursday moved them one step closer to doing so, as the win secured them the second seed at the rapidly approaching regional 4A tournament and removed the Tigers from the postseason picture in the loser-out match.
Junior Emily Romasko led LC with four kills and five digs.
“I’m so proud of the season we had,” Tigers coach Ashley Crowley said. “We don’t have a lot of height, and we may not look tough, but when they went out there they gave me their best every night, and look – we ended up a win away from regionals. Not bad.”
Not bad at all, especially against a CV team with quite a few talented players other than Lofton – such as quick-thinking setter Tia Pau, who finished with a match-high 32 assists, and senior libero Erika Bowden, who led all players with 18 digs.
“I’m happy we’re headed to regionals on a win – it’s the only way to go,” Kosty joked.
The regional 4A tournament is next weekend, with two of the four teams advancing to state. Undefeated Mead will join CV at the regional as the No. 1 seed.
District 8 3A
Even with basically nothing to lose, the University Titans played like they had everything to win.
And with a 25-21, 25-13, 24-26, 23-25, 15-7 win over Shadle Park, the Titans locked up the No. 2 seed to the regional 3A tournament.
The Highlanders will be the No.3 seed and travel for the first round of subregionals this weekend with the Mid-Columbia Conference, while the Titans will host their first-round match on Saturday afternoon.
All first-round regional matches are loser-out. Mt. Spokane is the top seed, and Rogers is the fourth seed out of the Greater Spokane League.
Kayleigh Valley led the Titans with 20 kills. Shadle Park was led by Darby Santos’ 18 kills. Chloe Brooks finished with 28 digs and three aces for the Highlanders.
The 3A regional finals will also be played next weekend, with two of the nine teams (five from the MCC qualify) advancing to the State 3A tournament.