Storm warnings wreaked havoc with school activities throughout Western Washington this weekend, but perhaps no group of students had their plans change repeatedly the way the Olympia High School volleyball team did.
The Bears’ homecoming dance was canceled. The Capitol City Invitational volleyball tournament they were expecting to play in at Capital High School was about to be canceled. Then, the tournament was back on for Saturday morning and the dance rescheduled for the afternoon with only a small gap of time between the two events.
“There’s almost never been a year when either us or Capital hasn’t had a conflict with homecoming,” Olympia’s 38-year head coach Laurie Creighton said. “We told the girls what we always do: ‘You may not look exactly like you wanted to, but you’ll get there and you can still have a good time. Plus you get to play volleyball.’ ”
Ultimately, Olympia’s homecoming dance was rescheduled for later in the month while the Bears were experiencing mixed results: Olympia defeated River Ridge, 25-18, 25-17, split with Class 3A No. 8 Timberline, 25-21, 23-25, and lost a close match to 2A No. 9 Burlington-Edison, 23-25, 26-28, in a tournament limited to pool play as nine teams dropped out because of warnings of a devastating storm expected to hit late Saturday afternoon.
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Burlington-Edison, which had already rented a block of hotel rooms, was the only team from outside Thurston County to compete. The Tigers won their pool with a point differential of plus-26, one point ahead of Timberline.
According to Capital coach Katie Turcotte, the first team to decide not to participate informed her this past Thursday. When more teams followed on Friday, thought was given to canceling the tournament before it was determined to go ahead with a primarily local field.
“It’s always good to get some game-situation playing time,” said Turcotte, who was happy to see her team play with its usual rhythm. “We played normal and when we play normal we play well.”
The Cougars defeated Black Hills and North Thurston to win the other pool at plus-40.
Timberline coach Krista Manke was also happy to be able to play, but missed the usual high-level tension of the event.
“I was glad we were able to get at least a half day in,” she said. “Otherwise we’d have missed out on some play that we needed. This tournament is usually packed with 16 strong teams, we missed some big ones, but the competition was still pretty good for the most part.”
Among the teams that opted out were Holy Names, Bishop Blanchet, Ellensburg, 4A No. 5 Bellarmine Prep, Gig Harbor and 4A No. 10 Kentwood.
Manke praised the play of Timberline’s New Mexico State-bound middle blocker Julianna Salanoa and setter Natalie Stark. Creighton pointed to freshman setter Kallie Lane, sophomore Molly Armstrong and senior outside hitter Lauren Wilson as standouts for Olympia.
Capital City Invitational
Capital d. Black Hills 26-24, 25-8, 25-18
North Thurston d. Black Hills 25-17, 25-19, 20-25
Capital d. North Thurston 25-16, 25-18, 25-27
Capital wins pool with a +40 point differential
Olympia split with Timberline 25-21, 23-25
Olympia d. River Ridge 25-18, 25-17
Burlington-Edison d. Olympia 25-23, 28-26
Burlington-Edison split with Timberline 25-22, 15-25
Timberline d. River Ridge 25-13, 25-17
Burlington-Edison wins pool with a +26 point differential