Volleybally: Sumner suffers early defeat, bounces back with three victories

Sports pundits say that in the fast moving game of volleyball, timing, a solid mental approach and momentum are three of the most important facets of the game.

  • Tuesday, November 25, 2008 1:41pm
  • Sports

Sumner High junior Sidney Erickson goes high for a kill against Holy Names Academy

Sports pundits say that in the fast moving game of volleyball, timing, a solid mental approach and momentum are three of the most important facets of the game.

When the Sumner High squad packed up its No. 1 regular-season ranking and 27-1 overall mark and headed out to last week’s Class 3A state volleyball tournament odyssey at Kennewick’s Toyota Center, the Spartans were clearly among the favorites to take home the championship trophy.

Sumner displayed some atrocious timing, however, losing for only the second time all season, falling Thursday to Bishop Blanchet in the tournament’s McMuffin match (9 a.m. on Court One) 25-16, 25-19, 25-23. The early tournament loss obliterated any hopes for a state title. The Spartans showed plenty of mental toughness, though, and bounced back to leave the Tri-Cities Friday with a fifth-place trophy.

So again, just like last year, it was those brazen Bishop Blanchet Braves who proved to be the thorn in the Spartans’ side, as everything the powerful Sumner crew rocketed over the net rose from the land of lost points.

“We did nothing in practice all week long but work on defending against the kinds of stuff that Sumner does. I guess you could say our hard work paid big dividends,” said second-year Blanchet coach Matt Chang, whose contingent lost to eventual state champion Shadle Park in the semis, then claimed third place in the big show by trashing Lakes High in three games.

“Sumner is a tough team and we probably played our best match of the year to emerge victorious,” he said. “I think our girls stepped up big time and played hard. They did everything we asked them to do. They were awesome!”

“Blanchet was on a mission to beat us today, there was no doubt about it,” Sumner coach Mike Fitzpatrick said. “They just played us extremely well, were sitting back and waiting for the big bombs to come over the net and were returning just about everything we threw at them.

“They were very prepared for us and they proved that they deserved to be in the state tournament.”

So, after only their second setback of the season the Spartan volleyballers had two options: either cry over spilled milk or come back strong and show folks they deserved the acclaim. They chose the latter, battling their way back through the loser’s bracket to easily beat Holy Names Academy and Camas High – both in three games – and then put away a tenacious Kennedy High bunch in the trophy round 25-20, 26-24, 18-25 and 25-21, to wind up fifth.

“If there is one thing you can say about this team, it is that they persevere,” Fitzpatrick said. “They started the season this summer with a grueling weight training program, they managed to fight their way through not having their starting setter in the middle of a strenuous season and this weekend we surged back and did the best we could have possibly done after losing to Blanchet, finishing better than we have done at state in a long time.

“These girls are stubborn scrappers, I’ll give them that.”

Reach John Leggett at jleggett@courierherald.com or 360-802-8207.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in Sports

COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Emerald Downs
Emerald Downs announces revised 2020 stakes schedule

Racing starts June 22; first featured race Aug. 2

White River seventh in state Scholastic Cup standings

Several Enumclaw teams also placed well in the state-wide contest.

T-Birds select 13 players in Bantam Draft

Seattle trades goalie Roddy Ross to Regina for three draft picks

Enumclaw, White River headed to same league in the fall

Sports may be cancelled for the rest of this school year, but the fall looks to be bringing some exciting changes.

Tahoma student lifts her goals higher

Meghan Strey shines as a junior weightlifting champion, even if COVID-19 is postponing competitions.

No-show season: WIAA announces cancellation of spring sports, activities

Due to the school closure extension, the cancellation includes all practices, competitions, tournaments and championships, WIAA says.

Emerald Downs still plans to have horse racing season in 2020

Horse training continues at Auburn racetrack

There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association making contingency plans for high school sports competitions after extension of stay home order.

T-Birds select Dauner, Mackie in Western Hockey League U.S. Prospects Draft

Dauner is a center from Fargo; Mackie is a defenseman from Anchorage

White River Hornets take talents to collegiate hoop programs

Here are where some Buckley athletes have taken their talents around Washington and California.

White River tracksters, soccer players waiting for spring athletic season

With a bunch of veteran players returning, the boys Hornet soccer team is starting this season in a good position.

The WIAA announced Wednesday that if schools reopen at the conclusion of the six-week statewide shutdown ordered last week by Gov. Jay Inslee, then the state championships will go on as planned. (WIAA photo)
WIAA still hoping to hold state championships in May

But if the school shutdown extends past April 24, those championships could be in jeopardy.