Colville High annexed its second straight Northeast A League District Tournament volleyball championship last Saturday afternoon, dispatching talented Freeman, 25-16, 22-25, 25-18, 25-20.
Colville is top-seeded into Saturday afternoonâs Region 6/7 Tournament in Chelan. Freeman is second-seeded to the regional.
Lakeside, by virtue of its 25-18, 25-19, 26-24 elimination win over Newport on Saturday, advances as the No. 3 seed.
The top-ranked Indians will open regional play Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in the Chelan Community Center against the winner of the regional opener earlier Saturday between Lakeside and CTL No. 2.
At stake in that match-up will be one of three allotted berths out of the regional to the State 1A Tournament Nov. 11-12 in the Yakima SunDome.
Colville wonât know their opponent until the CTL district tourney is finalized Tuesday night.
Chelan should test Colville on Saturday
Second-ranked Chelan annexed the CTL title with a perfect 10-0 record. Cascade finished second at 8-2. Okanogan and Omak were tied for third with 5-5 league records.
In the other regional opener Saturday at 2 p.m., NEA No. 2 Freeman will oppose CTL No. 3. That winner will play CTL No. 1 (likely Chelan) at 3:30 p.m. at Chelan High School.
CHS head coach Missy Bennett knows that her Indians are facing what amounts to a loaded regional. Four teams in the regional field are ranked in the most recent State 1A poll.
âWe have been playing well,â Bennett said on Monday. âIâm not worried. I think we will be fine. It will be nice to go up against some different teams.â
Bennett is a little concerned about the health of her team. Several team members were under the weather in the win last Saturday over Freeman.
âI donât want to offer any excuses, but we had some kids who werenât feeling well,â Bennett said. âBut we were able to rise to the challenge of a good Freeman team. I think Freeman will qualify and do well at StateâŠthey have gotten a lot better.â
Bennett conceded that it isnât easy playing a familiar faceâagain. But it is the post-season.
âEven though itâs the third time weâve played Freeman, youâd think weâd be able to crank it up against them,â Bennett said of her teamâs principle competition in the NEA race this fall.
Tall and talented
Defending State 1A champion Chelan will pose a major threat for Colville at the regional tournament. The Goats have lost only once this season and are playing well.
âI donât know if they are as good as they were last year,â Bennett said. âBut they are good. They have some size and always have a solid program. They seem to have done the re-loading thing pretty well.â
Colville opened the District 7 1A Tournament at home last Tuesday night with a three-set win over Newport, 25-11, 25-8, 25-16.
Colville got off to a slow start against the Grizzlies, falling behind 5-0 before outscoring NHS 40-1.
âI donât think Iâve ever had a team do that,â Bennett said.
In District loser-out matches last Tuesday, Lakeside eliminated Chewelah, 25-18, 25-5, 25-19 and Newport downed Riverside, 25-13, 25-18, 25-17.
Freeman beat Lakeside, 25-11, 25-8, 25-15.
Against Newport, NEA Most Valuable Player Joellee Buckner led the Indians in kills with six. Leanna Carr had 21 assists. Libero Tasji Urhausen had 10 digs. Erin Little and Lexi Lehman both had two blocks.
In the championship matchup with Freeman, the Indians turned in some impressive numbers against hard-hitting Freeman.
The Indians did some hitting of their own. Buckner had 17 kills and Jacy Vining and Little added 13 apiece.
Urhausen and Vining had 15 digs apiece. Buckner added 11 and Carr and Sadie Learn dug out 10 more.
âThat was a lot of kills and a ton of digs,â Bennett said, adding that âFreeman gave us a lot to digâŠthey attacked well.â
Little added three blocks. In the deciding fourth game, with both teams locked at 20-all, Little led CHS down the stretch with three kills and a key block.