University coach Mike Summers and his counterpart at Shadle Park, Brooke Meyer, feel as if their teams are preparing for a state tournament after just playing in one.
U-Hi and Shadle qualified for state Saturday during the 3A regional at Southridge High in Kennewick. The regional brought together the top four teams in the Seattle Times volleyball poll: Southridge (26-1), U-Hi (20-7), Shadle (22-6) and Kamiakin.
The tourney also finished in that order, leaving Kamiakin on the outside looking in as the other three moved ahead to the State 3A tournament, starting Friday at Saint Martin’s University and Timberline High School in Lacey.
Sunday’s state draw placed U-Hi on the opposite side of the bracket from Southridge. Shadle is in line for a potential semifinal against the Suns, whose lone loss was to Nyssa (Ore.)
U-Hi will open at 3:15 p.m. against Meadowdale while Shadle drew sixth-ranked Auburn Mountainview at 1:30.
“We would like another chance at (Southridge) under different circumstances,” said Summers, whose Titans won a rugged semifinal against Kamiakin before meeting the Suns in the title match. “I think they’ve lost seven sets all year, including one to us. With our styles of play, I think we match up well with them.”
“This weekend was insane, great volleyball all weekend,” said Meyer, whose Highlanders lost to Southridge in the semifinals.
“Southridge is just so quick. I don’t know if we’ll see a team as quick. It’s going to take us playing our absolute best, but we’re evenly matched in some areas,” Meyer said.
U-Hi qualified for its first state tourney since 2004 and fourth overall. Shadle is old hat at state, winning six titles in its previous 22 appearances, including the crown in 2008 when Meyer last guided the Highlanders to state.
“When we went to that (2008) tournament, we were picking up everything on defense,” Meyer said. “I saw a lot of that (Saturday), which was kind of giving me chills.”
State 4A at Lacey: Mead (21-6), fresh off its 12th regional title since 1996, will open at 9:45 a.m. against Camas. The Panthers are making their 15th consecutive trip to state and 24th overall, gathering seven championships along the way. Central Valley (22-8), at state for the second time in school history, will open at 8 a.m. against Mt. Vernon. Rankings before regional were: 1. Bellarmine Prep; 2. Newport (Bellevue); 3. Kentwood; 4. Mead; 5. Emerald Ridge; 6. CV. Mead could meet Emerald Ridge in the quarterfinals and Bellarmine Prep in the semifinals. CV could play Newport in the quarterfinals.
State 2A at Lakewood: District 7 champion East Valley (16-8), making its first state appearance since 1996, will open at 9:45 a.m. against Squalicum. The Knights are ranked 10th. Colville will open at 11:45 against Fife. The Indians are making their 16th trip to state and won their lone title two years ago. Burlington-Edison and West Valley (Yakima) are the favorites. WV is the only team to defeat 2B power Colfax this season.
State 1A at Yakima SunDome: District 7 champion Freeman (23-6), third at regional, will open at 1:30 p.m. against King’s. The two-time champion Scotties are at state for the 20th time. Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) drew Woodland for an 11:30 a.m. opener. The Eagles won three titles in their previous 11 trips to state.
State 2B at SunDome: Overwhelming favorite Colfax (32-1) opens at 9:45 a.m. against South Bend. The Bulldogs are making their 21st consecutive trip to state and 29th overall. Colfax seeks its 12th state title. Davenport (21-5), which finished runner-up to Colfax at the 2B regional, opens at 8 a.m. against Tacoma Baptist. The four-time champion Gorillas are at state for the 20th time. Lind-Ritzville/Sprague, back at state for the first time in six years, opens at 9:45 a.m. against Kittitas.
State 1B at SunDome: Two-time defending champion Tekoa-Oakesdale opens at 9:45 a.m. against Odessa-Harrington (17-8-1). Both teams finished runner-up at districts. T-O is making its 19th appearance, O-H (counting five titles won by Odessa alone) its 13th. District 7 champion Wilbur-Creston (17-6), a three-time champ, will open its 19th state appearance at 11:30 a.m. against Rainier Christian. Almira/Coulee-Hartline opens at 8 a.m. against Sunnyside Christian.