The 2013 Idaho 5A State volleyball tournament is beginning to look like the 2012 version.
That’s good news for the defending champion Lewiston Bengals, who pulled out another five-game thriller and then handled Inland Empire League rival Lake City to cap an unbeaten Friday at Post Falls High School.
The Bengals (33-1) had an early wake-up call, dropping the first two games to Vallivue in an 8 a.m. opener before rallying to win in five. Three of Lewiston’s four 2012 state tournament wins were in five games.
Lewiston then thumped short-handed Lake City 25-18, 25-12, 25-16. The Bengals will face 2011 champ Idaho Falls at 11 this morning in the double-elimination tourney. The Tigers (25-12) defeated Rocky Mountain 25-22, 25-17, 25-21 and won the last two games to edge Timberline in an entertaining five-game match.
“We have six kids that at any time can take over offense in a match,” Bengals coach Kelly Harwick said. “We’re pretty balanced. We have enough kids that can swing and get kills for us.”
Lake City opened with a 25-16, 25-15, 25-18 victory over Madison before falling to the Bengals. LC (23-10) was then eliminated by Rocky Mountain 25-16, 25-15, 25-15. Rocky Mountain (29-9) will face Vallivue – which eliminated Timberline 25-14, 25-14, 18-25, 13-25, 15-9 – in a loser-out match at 9.
Lake City senior middle blocker Madi Farrell sprained her ankle in warm-ups prior to the Lewiston match. The Northwest Nazarene-bound Farrell played a few points in the first game but wasn’t able to continue and also missed the later match.
The Timberwolves shifted their lineup and hung tough, taking a 14-12 lead behind three kills from Natalie Taylor and two from Haile Watson. It was tied at 15 before the Bengals rattled off 10 of the next 13 points.
Lewiston took command in the second game, bolting to a 12-3 lead after a string of LC hitting errors and Emilee Schlader’s booming kill on an overpass. Timberwolves junior Clarissa Smith, pressed into duty with Farrell on the bench, had a pair of kills, but the Bengals finished out the game on Brittany Weeks’ kill.
The Bengals overcame an early 5-1 deficit in the third with a run of 10 straight points. Schlader had three of her match-high 12 kills late as the Bengals closed out the third. Middle blockers Brett Hastings and Halle White combined for nine blocks. Weeks added five kills.
Watson and Taylor both had seven kills to lead Lake City.
“There was some doubt, some passing errors and some hitting errors,” Timberwolves coach Bret Taylor said. “I was very proud of Clarissa. She brought good energy.”
Vallivue tested Lewiston early but the Bengals responded by winning the final three games.
“One thing I know about our kids is we’re never out of it,” Harwick said. “I think we were down 13-9 in the fourth, but our kids never quit playing.”
Lake City cruised past Madison, which was without injured 6-foot-3 standout Cassidy Sellers. Farrell and Kasey Widmyer combined for 18 kills. Farrell added five blocks. Kaity Widmyer had 10 digs, 16 assists and three aces.
4A: After an opening-round win over Bishop Kelly, Sandpoint fell to Bonneville in the second round at Lake City. The Bulldogs kept their season alive with a consolation win over Canyon Ridge and will play Century today.
3A: Priest River opened play with a sweep over Sugar-Salem, but was eliminated after falling to Parma and Fruitland at Coeur d’Alene HS.
1A Division I: Wallace saw its season come to an end after falling to Idaho City and Compass Charter at Lewis-Clark State in Lewiston.