The annual Capitol City Volleyball Invitational provides plenty of incentive for the Burlington-Edison Tigers to make the long drive down from Skagit County every year.
It’s more than capturing the tournament title — like the Tigers did Saturday at Olympia High School, defeating Capital, 25-22, 25-20, in the title match — they also relish tuning up for competition they’ll likely face again in the postseason.
“That’s why we’re really excited to come to this tournament,” Burlington-Edison coach Tawnya Brewer said. “For us, the best 2As are here and we wanted to see how we fare against them. To win a tournament like that is a big deal.”
Maggie McTaggart had a match-high 17 kills and Alyssa Terwilliger chipped in eight in the title match, giving the Tigers, ranked No. 1 in Class 2A by coaches, to its second Capitol City title in three years.
McTaggart and Terwilliger were also named to the coaches’ all-tournament team, which also included Capital’s Rachel Erickson and Marissa Ottesen, and Olympia’s Rachel Kelson and Hannah Adams.
On Saturday, the Tigers met two 2A Evergreen Conference foes and two other 2A teams ranked in the top five on their path to the tournament title. They rallied to beat Tumwater in three sets (25-27, 25-17, 17-15) in the semifinals.
Besides Burlington-Edison, three of the final four teams in the championship bracket had a local flavor – Tumwater, Capital and Olympia. In its semifinal, Capital battled back to top Olympia in three sets (29-31, 25-16, 17-15) to advance to its first tournament title match since 2010, defeating a Bears team that had beaten the Cougars in their season opener in September.
The Cougars took early leads in both sets — 6-3 in the first set and 7-4 in the second — only to see Burlington-Edison come up with clutch plays to take command in both frames at the midway point. In the second set, with the Tigers leading 19-16, McTaggart, who had 21 kills in the semifinal win over Tumwater, and Terwilliger accounted for four straight points (three kills, ace) to take a 22-17 advantage over the Cougars.
“They’re a very savvy team,” Capital coach Natalie Rhodes said. “They mix up their shots really well. We just ran out of gas.”
Erickson had five of her 40 kills in the all-day, 16-team tournament in the title match, while Ottesen had 10 digs (56 on the day). Setter Sam Yorke had 26 assists (98 total).
Rhodes said her team made positive gains in its first action since dropping a five-set loss to Tumwater in league play Tuesday.
“It was a good day,” she email@example.com