When the high school volleyball season kicked off in August, more than 60 Class 2A programs shared dreams of success. But when the dust settled on the final rounds of the 2A state tournament, only eight teams were left standing.
Count this year’s White River Hornets among those Elite 8.
White River wrapped up the two-day state tournament, hosted again at St. Martin’s University in Lacey, by winning two of four matches. That was good for eighth place at the season-ending, three-court volleyball festival.
In the final battle of the year, the Hornets faced a familiar nemesis, the Fife Trojans. Fife had defeated White River twice before, once during the regular season and again during the SPSL 2A tourney. The Trojans had won the SPSL 2A West Division with an undefeated record while White River placed second in the East.
The Washington Patriots, who went undefeated to win the East Division and entered the state tourney with high hopes, lost two straight and were eliminated.
During Saturday afternoon’s tussle for seventh and eighth place, Fife showed no mercy, spanking the Hornets 25-15, 25-9, 25-15.
The tourney had opened at 9 a.m. Friday and White River was among the first teams in action, taking Court 1 against the Blaine Borderites. In a tough, five-game match, White River was booted into the loser’s bracket. The Hornets won the first game 25-23, fell 25-18 and took the advantage with a 25-19 decision. With their backs to the wall, however, the Borderites pulled even with a 25-20 victory and then put the match away 15-11.
White River dodged elimination later Friday, beating Kingston in three straight, winning 25-15, 25-21, 27-25. In a loser-out contest early Saturday, the Hornets remained in trophy contention by blanking the Pullman Greyhounds 25-23, 25-20, 25-14.
That victory set up the season finale against Fife.
Coach Lina Randall and her Hornets have enjoyed recent success at St. Martin’s. A year ago, White River claimed a fourth-place trophy at the Class 2A state tournament.
White River highlights vs. Blaine: Tori Schmidtke 14 kills, 19 digs, 3 Aces; Elle Thomas 13 kills, 8 digs; Sam Fiedler 9 kills, 7 digs, 1 block; Lacee Lisherness 6 kills, 7 blocks; Sarah Elmore 40 Assists, 13 digs, 1 ace; Noelle Mills 36 digs, 1 assist, 1 ace; Morgan Budinich 3 kills, 8 digs, 1 ace.
White River highlights vs. Kingston: Tori Schmidtke 6 kills; 7 Digs; 1 ace; Elle Thomas 9 kills, 8 digs, 1 ace; Sam Fiedler 6 kills, 2 blocks; Lacee Lisherness 5 kills, 2 digs; Morgan Budinich 4 kills, 5 digs, 1 block, 1 ace; Noelle Mills 24 digs; Sarah Elmore 27 assists; 7 digs; 1 ace; Amanda Mahlstedt 9 digs, 1 ace.
White River highlights vs. Pullman: Tori Schmidtke 10 kills, 10 digs, 4 aces; Elle Thomas 12 kills, 7 digs, 2 aces; Sam Fiedler 5 kills, 2 digs; Lacee Lisherness 1 kill, 1 dig, 4 blocks; Noelle Mills 20 digs, 2 aces; Sarah Elmore 28 Assists, 6 digs, 1 ace; Morgan Budinich 2 kills, 3 digs, 1 block, 1 ace.
White River highlights vs. Fife: Tori Schmidtke 9 kills, 5 digs; Sam Fiedler 3 kills; Morgan Budinich 1 kill, 2 blocks, 1 dig, 1 ace; Lacee Lisherness 3 blocks, 2 digs; Noelle Mills 19 digs; Sarah Elmore 13 Assists, 4 digs, 3 aces.