Molly Cichosz’s dominant 14-kill performance couldn’t help SPSL champion Auburn Mountainview overcome Narrows champion Timberline in the Class 3A West Central-Southwest District volleyball championship in Auburn Mountainview High School.
Timberline’s 3-1 (25-18, 18-25, 25-21, 25-13) victory gives the Lions (17-3) the No. 2 seed heading into the state tournament at Saint Martin’s University next weekend.
Setter Hunter Manke had 39 assists and Riley Todowicz racked up 25 kills and four blocks in Timberline’s win.
Even though they lost, the Lions did what very few teams have done this season – push Timberline to the limit.
“I’m just proud of the girls and to see them work hard to get here,” Lions coach Nicole Claudon said. “(But) they didn’t fight through in the final set against Timberline.”
Still, Claudon sees a silver lining in the Lions’ loss.
“I’ve seen them fight through (after) getting down during the season,” she said. “It’s not something you can teach. The thought gets me excited for next week.”
For much of the game, Auburn Mountainview was able to match Timberline point for point with Cichosz heading the charge.
In the Lions’ second-set victory, Cichosz caught fire, sending home 10 kills. Lions setter Savanna Cappa (25 assists, nine digs) saw this and started funneling her passes to the 6-foot-2 outside hitter.
“Molly happened to be the only one getting over the block,” Cappa said. “It goes by what hitters are on … you basically feed your hitters and that’s what makes you win.”
Cichosz became a one-girl wrecking crew for the Lions and nothing the Blazers did made a difference in the second set.
So for the final two sets, Timberline did what any smart team does to a player with the hot hand: play keep-away.
“She’s a really good player,” Manke said of Cichosz. “I decided I had to place the ball somewhere away from her just to get her off the shot.”
By eliminating Cichosz from the play, the Blazers were able to regain control of the game’s final two sets and pick up the championship win.
“It’s frustrating, but it makes me feel good because I know that I’m a threat,” Cichosz said. “It just makes me fight harder – hungrier – to get that point.”
To get to the championship match, Auburn Mountainview defeated Columbia River in four sets (25-21, 23-25, 31-29, 25-22).
Washington sweeps through districts: The celebration caused Washington High School coach Paul Souza to tear up a little bit.
The Patriots not only won their first district volleyball title with a 3-0 (28-26, 27-25, 25-15) championship-match victory over North Kitsap at Franklin Pierce, they did so without dropping a set the whole tournament.
This all comes after Washington finished as the district runner-up in 2009 and last season to Fife.
“This meant the world to them,” Souza said. “We just got on a roll today.”
Patriots outside hitter Tasi Paredo had 18 kills while setter Abby Evans added 17 assists, five blocks and five kills in the final match.Staff writer Todd Milles contributed to this report.