High School Sports

Tumwater volleyball reaches 2A state semifinals

Burlington-Edison and Tumwater share a large overlapping slice of recent state volleyball tournament history.

Tumwater has two Class 2A state championships on its ledger, most recently in 2014, but if any team could be called a state nemesis it would be Burlington-Edison. The Tigers’ title in 2011 was earned with a win over Tumwater in the championship game.

The teams’ stars crossed again Friday in the quarterfinals of the 2A state tournament at Saint Martin’s University — the same round where, last year, Burlington-Edison bumped off Tumwater in five sets on the way to the state championship. Tumwater won out from there to claim a fifth-place trophy.

In 2016: same teams, same round, far different results.

Tumwater was mostly dominant in a straight-sets victory over Burlington-Edison, winning handily in the first set, 25-8, then holding off a Tigers surge in the second for a 25-21 win.

In the third, Burlington-Edison was serving at game point at 24-23 and led again at 26-25 before the T-Birds’ junior outside hitter Kennedy Croft registered three straight kills for a 28-26 victory — set and match.

Tumwater (20-0) moves on to meet Archbishop Murphy (21-0), champion of the Cascade Conference, in a 1 p.m. semifinal. The Wildcats defeated Sequim and Ellensburg Friday.

Croft said the T-Birds had vowed all week they would not let last year’s Burlington-Edison result happen again.

“It felt really good getting them in three,” said Croft, who notched 16 kills, two aces and 14 digs.

Senior setter Maddy Pilon had 36 assists and 22 digs for Tumwater.

Tumwater opened the tournament with a straight-sets victory over Pullman by scores of 25-14, 25-19 and 25-18.

Pilon amassed 28 assists and shared the team lead with nine digs with Croft and senior libero Tina Hegarty. Croft also had four aces and took her accustomed place atop the kill list with 25.

“I don’t think we had an amazing game,” Pilon said of the victory over Pullman. “We can always do better.”