All three games could have gone either way, but all three went Shadle Park’s way.
That’s one big reason why the Highlanders are in line for their first Greater Spokane League volleyball title in 20 years.
Senior Amanda Konynenbelt had 16 assists, six kills and two aces on Senior Night as host Shadle Park outlasted Central Valley 25-22, 25-23, 25-23 on Linda Sheridan Court on Thursday night.
“We give effort every day in practice and … never give up,” Konynenbelt said. “We just push until we can fight back to win.”
The Highlanders trailed the first game 17-11 before rallying. They broke from a 22-all tie in the second game to win. Down 23-20 in the third game, they scored the final five points.
“We just have a lot of heart, pretty much, and we just want to push through when we’re challenged,” said senior Rachel Stuart, who clinched the middle game with a block for point 23, a tip for point 24 and a kill for the clincher.
The Highlanders improved to 7-1 heading in to Tuesday’s final league match at Lewis and Clark (2-5). Shadle’s last GSL title came in 1993.
“It would be an amazing feat for us to accomplish, but that’s not entirely our goal,” Shadle coach Brooke Meyer said. “We want the journey. We want to continue our season and go as far as we can. If it means being GSL champions along the way, that’s an amazing, amazing accomplishment.”
If so, the Highlanders will likely share the title with Mead, which won Thursday to improve to 7-1 and hosts Ferris (2-5) in its final match, and University, which is 6-1 heading in to tonight’s home match against Ferris. U-Hi’s final match is at North Central (0-7).
The potential three-way tie was created when Shadle defeated Mead, Mead beat U-Hi and U-Hi topped Shadle.
In postseason openers on Nov. 2, Mead will host the District 8 4A tournament, and U-Hi and Shadle will host 3A subregionals. Shadle’s gym will be unavailable, forcing the Highlanders to play at Rogers.
Sophomore Keann White had eight kills and five blocks for CV (5-3), which is one game ahead of fellow 4A team Gonzaga Prep and 3A Mt. Spokane.
Madeline Ritter, Stuart and Konynenbelt combined for 19 kills for the Highlanders.
• In other matches, Payton Douglass finished with five aces and 21 digs in Mead’s win at Rogers. Ashtyn Taylor added four kills and a block for the Panthers. Taylor Dewey-Buchanon had four aces and two blocks for the Pirates (1-7). … Libby Pittenger had 15 kills and six aces, and Karly Cantu added six aces and 20 digs as Mt. Spokane defeated visiting Gonzaga Prep 3-1 to leave both teams with 4-4 league records. Sara Mackin led the Bullpups with 20 assists, two blocks and an ace.
• East Valley and Pullman, both 8-3, clinched at least a share of the Great Northern League title with victories. Tori Berdichevskaya had 17 kills and six aces, Jolene Herzog added 47 assists and Rachel Dinsmoor had 27 digs at Pullman outlasted host Cheney 25-15, 25-23, 24-26, 22-25, 15-11. Ashley Seiler had 24 kills as Cheney (7-4) fell into a third-place tie with idle Colville. Emily Sior had 24 assists and Brooklyn Juris added 16 digs in EV’s sweep over visiting Deer Park (3-8). DP’s Sierra English had 14 kills. On Tuesday, EV plays at Clarkston (5-5), Pullman hosts West Valley (0-11) and Cheney travels to DP. Colville plays at Clarkston on Nov. 2.