YAKIMA – At 5:52 p.m. Friday, Colfax coach Sue Doering walked away from volleyball on top again.
Doering transitioned from a Hall of Fame coach with 14 state titles to furniture store owner, winning her last state championship along the way.
The Bulldogs capped Doering’s 900-plus win career with a tense, 25-20, 25-19, 25-27, 17-25, 15-11 win over Mossyrock in the State 2B finals at the SunDome. Now, she’ll turn her attention to her grandkids and the two furniture stores she and her husband Eric own.
But it wasn’t easy.
The Vikings had a two-point lead and Colfax in a bind at 8-6 in the fifth game of the match. But the Bulldogs went on a 7-3 run to close the match, dominating at the net in the process.
“Especially in those last few points, I realized that it was now or never,” Colfax senior Carmen Gfeller said. “You don’t always get a second chance. I learned that the hard way against these guys last year. I knew this year there wasn’t going to be a second chance, so I just went all out.”
Gfeller was referring to the Bulldogs’ first-round loss to the Vikings in the 2016 state tourney. Colfax, which advanced by beating Life Christian 25-12, 25-10, 25-10 in the semifinals, had come to Yakima pointing toward a rematch.
“It was a great match and I wasn’t sure we’d get it done,” Doering said. “I told the girls in the huddle in the fifth game that I was good with second place. They didn’t like that too much.”
Northwest Christian lost in the semifinals to Mossyrock 25-19, 19-25, 25-18, 25-14, but the Crusaders outlasted Life Christian Academy 21-25, 25-21, 25-16, 22-25, 15-12 to take third place.
NWC also took home the 2B academic state title.
Liberty’s Lancers fell one game short of the trophy round, losing to Napavine 25-12, 25-16, 25-17 in the consolation round.
A hoped-for repeat of the 2016 success didn’t pan out for the Northwest A League in the SunDome. Both Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) and Freeman lost their opening-round matches and were knocked into the consolation bracket.
Sixth-ranked Freeman made just a few mistakes in its opener, but third-ranked Lynden Christian made none and knocked the Scotties into the consolation bracket 25-16, 25-18, 25-20
“We knew they were a good team. They’ve been a good program for so many years and they’re so skilled,” Scotties coach Eva Jansen said. “Height-wise, we don’t match up with anybody. We knew we had our work cut out for us.
“You always want to play a little better than you did. They were the better team today. We didn’t roll over. We gave up a couple runs here and there, but that’s how it goes with rally scoring. If you get in a hole, it’s really tough.”
The Scotties bounced back to defeat Bellevue Christian 25-16, 25-13, 25-15, advancing into an 11 a.m. consolation game against Lakeside.
The top-ranked and defending champion Eagles were stunned in their opener by King’s 25-22, 25-21, 27-25, dropping into the consolation bracket.
The Eagles’ only previous loss was to Yakima 4A power West Valley in September.
Lakeside coach Kara Moffatt said her team’s inability to counter King’s outside hitter Alli Hansen played a big part in the loss.
An easy consolation win over Coupeville advanced the Eagles into the match against Freeman.
Oakesdale brushed aside Pomeroy in the title match for the third year in a row, 25-21, 25-16, 13-25, 25-18). The Nighthawks also won the academic award with a team GPA of 3.977.
Oakesdale’s win avenged its last loss, a straight-sets defeat in league play a month ago. Since then, the Nighthawks had lost just one set before the finals.
Pomeroy couldn’t match the Nighthawks at the net.
The Nighthawks advanced to the title match with a 25-9, 25-14, 25-16 semifinal win over Odessa. The title is the sixth for the program since 2011.
Playing on the court next to Oakesdale in its semifinal, Pomeroy had a little more trouble with Colton but swept the Wildcats 25-17, 25-17, 25-19 to get back to the finals again. The Pirates won the 1B title in 2014, the only year that Oakesdale hasn’t taken home the big trophy since 2010.
Colton came back and took third, beating Odessa 25-15, 25-22, 25-15. It is the first trophy since 2012 for the Wildcats.
Almira/Coulee-Hartline brought home a fifth-place trophy, knocking off Quilcene 24-26, 27-29, 25-11, 25-13, 15-6. The Warriors were third in 2016.
Selkirk finished eighth, losing to Rainier Christian 25-16, 25-23, 19-25, 28-26 after beating Three Rivers Christian 17-25, 26-24, 25-16, 25-23. The trophy is Selkirk’s first in its first trip to the state tournament.