Colville captures District crown

Indians will host loser-out against CWAC Colville High annexed another district volleyball title last Saturday by downing East Valley in the CHS gym, 25-10, 25-14, 25-11. The fourth-ranked Indians, the defending State 1A champions, are District 7’s top seed to the 2A regional tournament on Saturday against the Central Washington Athletic Conference.Colville will host the winner of the Grandview (CWAC no. 5) vs. Ellensburg (CWAC no. 4) match (Monday night) on Saturday at 1 p.m. At stake will be a berth to the State 2A Volleyball Tournament Nov. 9-10 at Pierce College and Lakes High School.The winner will advance to State as the CWAC/GNL regional no. 2 seed.East Valley, who beat Pullman for the GNL district’s no. 2 seed on Saturday at Colville, will travel to CWAC no. 3 and play a loser-out match this week. That winner will advance to State as the no. 4 seed from the CWAC/GNL regional.Dominating run through the GNL this fallThe Indians, who have gone unbeaten in league the last three seasons (the last two seasons in the Northeast A League), didn’t lose a match—or a game—in the GNL during the regular season or in last week’s district run to title hardware.Yet Colville won’t get a chance to play for a regional title against CWAC powerhouses West Valley (Yakima) and Selah because the allocation formulas this year are heavily weighted to the CWAC (that league gets automatic no. 1 and no. 3 seed berths to the State tournament.CHS head coach Missy Bennett, who, understandably, doesn’t think giving the GNL (and the Indians) short shrift in the regional is particularly equitable, can only control what she can control. The allocation situation and the unfairness of the regional set-up with the CWAC are out of her hands.At least the Indians don’t have to make a Saturday road trip to some outpost in the CWAC.“It’s a little stressful knowing that if we lose on Saturday, that’s it,” Bennett conceded. “We just have to manage our emotions and play like we have been playing.“I am confident in our team’s ability. We may come up against a decent team from the CWAC, but if we control the game like we can, we can do the same thing to our CWAC opponent that we have done to our GNL opponents all season.”Colville has pretty much pummeled everyone in the GNL since moving back up to 2A this fall. No, it hasn’t been close. The Indians really weren’t tested in a GNL match all fall long.CHS has lost only one match all season long (to then top-ranked Jackson in the Spokane Crossover Classic). Jackson is currently ranked no. 2 to top-ranked and unbeaten Mead in 4A.In 2A, Tumwater is the current top-ranked team in the Washington Coaches Association poll. West Valley (Yakima) is second, Anacortes is third and Colville is ranked no. 4. Easy win Bennett’s team opened the GNL District 7 Tournament last Wednesday night at home with an easy 25-16, 25-15, 25-23 win over Cheney in a district semifinal.In the Cheney match, Colville’s Joellee Buckner, this week’s Colville Benchwarmer’s CHS Athlete of the Week, had 15 kills. Leanna Carr had 36 assists for the Indians. Jessie Glidewell added four ace serves and Jacy Vining had eight digs.Cheney opened the Colville side of the district bracket last Wednesday by defeating West Valley for the third time in a month (loser-out) to advance to the semifinal match-up with Colville. In the other side of the bracket last Wednesday night at East Valley, the host Knights held on to beat third-seeded Pullman in the semifinal round. Pullman eliminated Clarkston in a loser-out match-up, 25-16, 25-22, 25-22.In the semifinal, East Valley downed PHS 25-20, 25-21, 18-25, 25-14.Bennett was much more pleased with her team’s outing in the championship last Saturday against East Valley than she was with the effort against Cheney.“We did what we needed to do (against East Valley),” Bennett said. “It wasn’t our best, but it was better than Wednesday (against Cheney). Nerves were a factor against Cheney for some of the girls. That kind of took me by surprise. But we bounced back on Saturday.”Easily the largest crowd of the year in attendance at the district championship Saturday against EV didn’t go unnoticed by Bennett.“That was really an amazing crowd,” Bennett said. “Our stands were full…it was just very cool and very impressive. That was definitely one of the biggest crowds I’ve ever seen (for a CHS volleyball match).”Impressed with the big Colville crowdBennett said that she had several parents from opposing teams tell her how impressed they were by the Colville crowd.“People were really impressed by our crowd,” Bennett said. “I hope we can recreate that on Saturday (against the CWAC).”In a loser-out match Saturday after Colville had annexed the District title, Pullman beat Cheney 25-20, 21-25, 25-19, 21-25, 15-10. In the match for the GNL’s second berth to the regional, East Valley held off Pullman 20-25, 20-25, 25-21, 25-13, 15-10.