Hannah Pukis is trapped between two different worlds.
And she wouldn’t want it any other way on the volleyball court for the Bellarmine Prep Lions.
Pukis, a junior, is a Washington State University commit as a setter — and she’s a good one at that.
But she also pairs with teammate McKenzie Schwan as a fantastic outside hitter.
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The duo sparked the top-seeded Lions to the Kent Volleyball Classic title Saturday at Kentwood High School in Kent.
Whether it was in pool play or the championship bracket, Bellarmine Prep did not drop a set. And in the tournament finals, the Lions swept aside Gonzaga Prep, 25-19, 25-19.
“This is a big deal,” Bellarmine Prep coach Caroline Meines said. “We had dropped sets and a couple matches coming into this (tournament) … but they definitely took a big step forward in managing big game and big situations.”
The Lions scored five consecutive points in the middle of the first set against the Bullpups to seize control.
But there was one brief sequence that really put Pukis’ versatility on display.
The first was as a hitter, in which her clean kill gave the Lions a 9-7 lead.
On the next point, she did it all. She kept the rally alive with a clutch dig, then rushed to the net to give teammate Rylee Born a perfect set for the point-ending kill.
“In club season, I play both (positions), so now I kind of assume that is my role,” Pukis said. “I like setting a lot more, so sometimes I take the ball when I shouldn’t. That tends to be the most difficult part of it. I feel like I should be controlling (the point), and I can’t, so I have to take myself out of the play sometimes.”
Claire McCarthy served six consecutive points in the second set as the Lions grabbed a 16-8 lead.
The match ended on a Pukis kill up the middle. She led Bellarmine Prep with 13 kills and 14 assists. Schwan added 10 kills, and McCarthy had 13 assists as the co-setter.
It was an impressive showing by the Lions, who joined Oregon powerhouse Central Catholic as the only school to win this prestigious tournament twice. Bellarmine Prep’s other victory came in 2013.
And of the 30 teams in the tournament, 11 were in their respective state tournaments a year ago. Eight of them are ranked in the top 10 in their respective classifications, too.
In the semifinals, Bellarmine Prep, ranked eighth in Class 4A, avenged last week’s five-set loss to Tumwater, ranked No. 2 in Class 2A.
The Lions won 25-22, 25-19.
“A huge feather in our cap, for sure,” Meines said.