YAKIMA – The Oakesdale Nighthawks asked Brandy Brown at the last minute to come back and be their coach. They made that last-minute change worthwhile Saturday night, grabbing their second straight state 1B volleyball title.
The Nighthawks blitzed Pomeroy 25-15, 25-18, 25-18 to win the program’s fifth title since 2011.
The Nighthawks’ two seniors, Lindsey Lindgren and Jacey Johnson, had asked Brown to come back when the coaching job unexpectedly opened just before the season. She said she couldn’t tell them no.
Brown had been in charge of the program through a mini-dynasty when the Nighthawks won titles as Tekoa-Oakesdale in 2011-12-13. She stepped away for two seasons to spend more time with her family – including seventh-grader and team statistician Desi Brown, who will be playing for the Nighthawks in a couple of years.
“I coached the seniors as freshmen, they give me a call and here I am. They are an awesome group of kids. How could anyone say no to this,” Brown said as her charges whooped and hollered behind her. “This is a great group with so much heart and so much talent. Their faith in each other is amazing.”
Oakesdale advanced to the finals with a 25-13, 25-15, 25-17 semifinal win over Almira/Coulee-Hartline.
Colfax bounced back from an unexpected loss in the quarterfinals to get another trophy. The Bulldogs toppled Davenport 25-17, 25-17, 25-11 and then beat Wilbur-Creston, 25-20, 25-23, 25-15 to capture the fifth place trophy.
The Bulldogs had a streak of five straight title game appearances snapped Friday in a loss to Mossyrock.
Davenport’s loss to Colfax ended the Gorillas’ season.
Wilbur-Creston had advanced to the trophy game with a 25-23, 25-22, 25-8 win over Dayton. The Wildcats finished sixth.
Valley Christian was eliminated by Rainier Christian, 27-25, 24-26, 23-25, 25-20, 15-11 in its first consolation match Saturday morning.
Odessa-Harrington was eliminated by Naselle, 25-18, 25-22, 24-26, 23-25, 14-16 in it’s first consolation match on Saturday morning.
After falling to Oakesdale in the semifinals, Almira/Coulee-Hartline bounced back to beat Quilcene for third place. The Warriors won that match 26-24, 20-25, 25-18, 12-25, 15-11. The third-place finish for the Warriors is their first and gives the school seven volleyball trophies, including the 2010-11 championship.