LACEY, Wash. – Central Valley couldn’t come up with the last few points.
Mead would have been happy to come up with one win.
Greater Spokane League teams had unexpected troubles Friday during the first day of the State 4A volleyball tournament at Saint Martin’s University and Timberline High School.
CV, ranked seventh in the Seattle Times poll, had second-ranked Newport (Bellevue) on the ropes but fell short in its bid for the first state semifinal in school history.
CV (23-9) won the first two games 25-17 and led the third 18-14 before the Knights rallied behind 6-foot-3 senior outside hitter Casey Schoenlein. Newport scored the final seven points of the third game for a 25-19 win; outscored CV 7-2 down the stretch to take the fourth game 25-19; and claimed the decider 15-10 after the Bears were within 10-9.
“(Schoenlein) was wearing us down a little bit,” Bears coach Amanda Bailey said.
“I think they made some adjustments in their hitting and we didn’t make as many adjustments in our defense fast enough, and I think that took some momentum out of our team.
“We were passing really well and we were blocking (Schoenlein) in the first two games, and that made a huge difference. There are always holes in every defense and she was finding them (later).”
CV will play a loser-out game at 8 this morning against Kentwood. In the Bears’ only previous state appearance, two years ago, they finished with a 1-2 record.
Mead, which claimed league (shared), district and regional championships this year, entered its 24th state tourney – and 15th straight – ranked No. 3 but never got untracked. The Panthers (21-8) were swept 3-0 by Camas and Skyline.
Mead had finished 0-2 at the tourney twice before, but the last time was 33 years ago. The Panthers also didn’t win a game during the 1973 tourney, when the matches were best-of-3 rather than best-of-5.
“I think our voices got drowned out (by the noisy venue) and we kind of just shut down … and that will ruin our team if we work individually,” Mead coach Elaina Renius said after the opening loss to Camas.
“I think there was that lack of someone who has been here (at state) and been that pressure go-to person. Our passing wasn’t on this morning and that determines how we run our offense.”