Indians annex second straight NEA volleyball crown

Colville High annexed its second straight Northeast A League volleyball championship last Tuesday with a straight set win over second place Freeman. The Indians eased past rival Chewelah during last Thursday night’s Senior Night festivities.The Indians, top-ranked in the latest State 1A Coaches’ Poll, were unbeaten in league play this season and lost only one game during the NEA campaign (at Freeman).To date, the season has been pretty much unblemished. The Indians’ only losses to date have been to top-ranked 4A Bellarmine Prep and to Idaho 5A power Post Falls in the high-powered Crossover Tournament earlier this monthColville downed seventh-ranked Freeman 25-16, 25-19, 25-22 in front of another big crowd last Tuesday night. On Thursday, the Indians eased past winless Chewelah, 25-7, 25-8, 25-14.Team featured in S-RCHS coach Missy Bennett, whose team was featured in a Spokesman-Review sports column last week, was pleased with the way her team took care of business. She likes the idea of staying home for the District 7 1A Tournament this week.“We are very confident and playing well,” Bennett said of likely the most talented volleyball team she has ever coached at CHS. “Freeman really tested us, even though it only went three (games). That one was a lot closer than our match at Freeman. Freeman is an up and coming team…and we had a lot of pressure on us.“It’s going to be fun to play at home this week.”DISTRICTColville (10-0) and Freeman (8-2) will host first-round District match-ups on Oct. 25.On Tuesday, action will start at 6 p.m. in the CHS gym with NEA no. 4 and 5 squaring off (Newport and Riverside) in loser-out action. The winner will play Colville at approximately 7:30 p.m.At Freeman on Tuesday, NEA no. 3 Lakeside (6-4) will oppose no. 6 Chewelah in a loser-out match-up. The winner will play Freeman.Four teams will advance to Colville on Saturday.The winners of the Colville vs. the no. 4 vs. no. 5 survivor and the winner of the Freeman vs. the no. 3 and 6 survivor will square off in the District 7 1A championship match at 1 p.m. The third and fourth place game will follow.Three teams advance to the regional at Chelan High School.The top three teams from District will advance to Chelan High School and the regional tournament with the Caribou-Trail League on Saturday, Nov. 5.That tournament promises to be both high level and competitive. Four of the state’s top 10 volleyball teams will be in that tournament. The tournament starts at 2 p.m.The top three teams from the Chelan regional will advance to the State 1A Tournament Nov. 11-12 at the SunDome in Yakima.Host Chelan and King’s are ranked second and third in the latest poll. Cascade and Leavenworth of the CTL have also garnered top 10 mention at one time or another so far this season.“It’s going to be very competitive,” Bennett acknowledged.CHEWELAH/FREEMANBennett said her team did a good job managing emotions during Senior Night festivities against Chewelah. The match also served as alumni night. There was a lot of pink in the stands with former players donning their pink “Legacy” t-shirts.“That was super fun,” added Bennett, who started all her seniors against Chewelah. “We had another big crowd…it was a great send-off for our seniors.“The kids did a good job of managing their emotions.”This year’s CHS seniors are Ashley Knight, Erin Little, Tasji Urhausen, Lexi Lehman and Rylee Wittmeyer.ELSEWHEREIn other action involving NEA teams last week, Riverside downed Chewelah, 26-16, 23-25, 25-22, 23-25, 15-13 and Lakeside downed Newport, 25-11, 25-22, 25-22 last Tuesday night.Last Thursday, Newport beat Riverside, 25-18, 25-23, 25-7 and Freeman beat Lakeside, 25-11, 25-12, 25-15.