With so much downtime between Capital’s early-morning first-round match and its Class 3A state quarterfinal against Eastside Catholic, the Cougars’ players and coaches went to setter Sam Yorke’s house for a buffet, lounging around and a few power naps Friday.
“Coach Natalie (Rhodes) was out before anyone else,” said senior libero Marissa Ottesen, who had 46 digs on the day.
Perhaps those are reasons for the Cougars’ on-court success at the opening day of the 3A state volleyball tournament at Saint Martin’s University.
Capital, located minutes from the Saint Martin’s campus, is one of four teams to make Saturday’s 3A state semifinals after dispatching Ferndale (25-19, 25-22, 25-20) and Eastside Catholic (25-22, 25-21, 25-28). The Cougars will play at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in a semifinal.
A year removed from an appearance in the state title match as a Class 2A member, the Cougars’ senior-laden squad with veteran experience isn’t ready to settle for just any state trophy as a 3A member.
“We expect more than we’re doing now,” senior Kaysee Wohl said. “Nothing is fazing us at this point.”
Wohl had five of her eight kills in the third set when the Crusaders cut the deficit to 14-13, but the Cougars closed out the set and match on 9-4 run.
Capital will face Lakeside of Seattle, which needed five sets to beat Southridge (25-18, 23-25, 25-18, 19-25, 15-13) in its quarterfinal, getting big numbers from Devin Callahan (66 assists), Chloe Loreen (29 kills) and Katherine Outcalt (13 kills).
In a back-and-fourth fifth set, several Lions had delayed reactions on match point, unaware they’d won after a Southridge double-hit call. The Lions trailed 6-2 in the fifth set before twice rallying.
“I saw one of my teammates jumping up and down … ,” Callahan said. “I was pretty confused on that last point.”
Lakeside’s state history is brief; this is just the school’s fifth appearance and hasn’t received a state trophy since 1977. Coach Katie Wilson, who led Seattle Prep to the 3A title in 2010 before coaching two seasons at Seattle University, said playing in the Metro League helped set the tone for what was the Lions’ sixth five-set match of the season.
“The fact that we’ve gone five sets, I don’t even worry about it anymore,” Wilson said. “I know these guys know how to handle the pressure and stay composed and play steady volleyball, and that’s the key to this.”
It will be a rematch of last week’s 3A bi-district title match when top-ranked Auburn Riverside and Columbia River meet in the other 1:30 p.m. semifinal.
The Chieftains, a 2013 state semifinalist, beat Holy Names in four sets, and needed five to beat Kamiakin (25-22, 22-25, 25-21, 18-25, 18-16).
The Ravens, after sweeping Seattle Prep, needed four sets to down defending state champion Mercer Island (25-27, 27-25, 25-14, 25-17) as New Mexico-bound setter Carson Heilborn described her team as “intense” following a rare opening-set loss. Auburn Riverside rebounded after trailing 2-0 last week to Columbia River to win in five sets for the bi-district title.
“A lot more intense,” said Heilborn, who had 43 assists and seven kills. “After you lose (a set), you have to come out even stronger the next step, hop on the points and keep pushing the rest of the match.”
Olympia, winners of the 2011 4A title at SMU, won its first-round match over Skyline (25-21, 25-15, 9-25, 25-22) getting 19 kills from Hannah Adams and 14 from Lauren Wilson before losing to 4A Narrows League rival and two-time defending champion Bellarmine Prep in the Friday night’s state quarterfinal in straight sets. The Bears got knocked into the consolation round and play again at 11:45 a.m. Saturday.
Battle Ground, playing in its first state tournament since 1989, won both its matches Friday (Central Valley, Tahoma) to guarantee a top-four finish.
The Tigers face Bellarmine Prep in Saturday’s 3:15 p.m. semifinal. Emerald Ridge is in the semifinals for the seconds consecutive year with sweeps over Newport and Camas. It’ll face either Curtis or University of Spokane in Saturday’s other 3:15 p.m. semifinal. The Curtis/University quarterfinal match did not conclude before press time Friday night.