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 afternoon’s 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 won’t 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.
“We have been playing well,” Bennett said on Monday. “I’m not worried. I think we will be fine. It will be nice to go up against some different teams.”
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.
“I don’t want to offer any excuses, but we had some kids who weren’t feeling well,” Bennett said. “But we were able to rise to the challenge of a good Freeman team. I think Freeman will qualify and do well at State…they have gotten a lot better.”
Bennett conceded that it isn’t easy playing a familiar face—again. But it is the post-season.
“Even though it’s the third time we’ve played Freeman, you’d think we’d be able to crank it up against them,” Bennett said of her team’s 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.
“I don’t know if they are as good as they were last year,” Bennett said. “But they are good. They have some size and always have a solid program. They seem to have done the re-loading thing pretty well.”
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.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a team do that,” 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.
“That was a lot of kills and a ton of digs,” Bennett said, adding that “Freeman gave us a lot to dig…they attacked well.”
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.