Southridge volleyball caps strong season with big finish

Craig Craker, Herald staff writerNovember 10, 2012 

LACEY — The Southridge volleyball team made history Saturday, winning the first state trophy in program history.

Now, the Suns are ready for more.

Southridge defeated Holy Names in four sets at Saint Martin’s University to capture third place in the Class 3A state volleyball championships, finishing a remarkable run to the end the season.

The Suns did it all without a senior on the roster.

“We’re not content with third,” junior Emma Spurlock said. “We’re ready to come back next year and take first.” Bold words for a bold team.

Southridge finished fourth in the Mid-Columbia Conference standings during the regular season, but won three consecutive elimination matches during the regional tournament to earn a trip to state. The Suns also made state in 2006 and 2009.

At state Southridge knocked off favored Timberline (Lacey) in four sets, before sweeping Glacier Peak (Snohomish) to reach the semifinals.

“I’m very proud of this group,” Southridge coach John Lengphounpraseut said. “I could not ask for anything better than planting a seed for next season. This is a huge experience to take home with us.”

Southridge dropped its semifinal match Saturday morning, getting overwhelmed by North Thurston in three sets. The Suns lost 25-15, 30-28, 25-20, making plenty of unforced errors in the process.

“(Friday) we played really well and I think everyone thought it would just be easy,” junior Kylie Fraga said. “We weren’t ready for it.”

During the Suns’ three-hour break between matches, though, they calmed down and came out firing on all cylinders.

Kimberly Brinkworth and Spurlock dominated up front, while Rylee Russell and Makenna Behrens led the defense. Fraga directed traffic and the Suns made history.

“It’s crazy, especially because we are so young,” Fraga said. “It feels really good because people have been to state before (from Southridge), but we’re the first to get a trophy.”

Brinkworth led the offense in the third-place match, finishing with 19 kills, seven digs and six blocks. Spurlock added 14 kills and nine digs, while Fraga dished out 49 assists, seven kills and nine digs.

“At the beginning of the season I didn’t think we’d be here on this day,” Fraga said. “I had no idea we’d get this far. We’re glad for third place, but next year we hope to take it all.”

The trophy is also the first for Lengphounpraseut, who has been coaching since 1996. He went to state three times at Hermiston before making three trips with Southridge.

“It feels very good to finally get the monkey off my back,” he said. “It’s a great accomplishment for the school.”

Third-place match: Southridge def. Holy Names Academy 25-19, 25-16, 26-28, 25-11. Leaders—Kimberly Brinkworth 19 kills, 7 digs, 6 blocks; Emma Spurlock 14 kills, 9 digs; Alyssa Palmer 8 kills, 19 digs; Jordan Mix 6 kills, 9 digs; Makenna Behrens 32 digs; Rylee Russell 14 digs; Kylee Fraga 7 kills, 49 assists, 9 digs. Semifinal: North Thurston def. Southridge 25-15, 30-28, 25-20. Leaders—Spurlock 11 kills, 5 digs; Brinkworth 12 kills, 5 digs, 4 blocks; Mix 7 kills, 5 digs; Palmer 2 kills, 10 digs; Behrens 23 digs; Fraga 4 kills, 33 assists, 11 digs

RICHLAND FINISHES EIGHTH: The Bombers may have been swept in the final match of their season, but they still made program history by winning two matches at the Class 4A state tournament.

Auburn Riverside swept Richland 25-14, 25-12, 25-20 in the seventh-place match Saturday at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey.

The Bombers reached the match after defeating Newport (Bellevue) 23-25, 25-18, 25-16, 21-25, 15-11 in an elimination match earlier in the day.

“Despite our loss, I’m really happy and proud of what we did,” senior Kelly Breard said. “It’s almost like I’m speechless. It feels really good after finally getting the monkey off our back.

“Maybe getting the win can help future Bomber teams.”

Richland was making its third appearance at the state tournament, but had never won a match. The Bombers defeated Lake Stevens on Friday in an elimination match for the first win.

“I’m obviously very pleased to be coming home with a trophy,” Richland coach Bob Raidl said. “I wish we would’ve played a little stronger, but overall the season was a success.”

Alisha Bettinson’s 14 kills and eight digs led the Bombers in their last match, while she had 19 kills and 18 digs in the morning victory. Breard had nine kills, seven digs and two aces against Newport and three kills and four digs against Riverside.

“It’s a great way to end my career,” Breard said.

Seventh-place match: Auburn Riverside def. Richland 25-14, 25-12, 25-20. Leaders—Elizabeth Quick 2 kills, 1 dig; Peyton Wahl 3 assists, 19 digs; Victoria Long 2 kills; Luaren Balone 1 kill, 5 digs; Kelly Breard 3 kills, 4 digs; Alisha Bettinson 14 kills, 8 digs; Sarah McCormick 7 assists, 7 digs.
Elimination match: Richland def. Newport 23-25, 25-18, 25-16, 21-25, 15-11. Leaders—Wahl 10 assists, 1 ace, 30 digs; Breard 9 kills, 2 aces, 7 digs; Bettinson 19 kills, 2 aces, 18 digs; McCormick 19 assists, 2 aces, 11 digs; Hailey Turner 3 kills, 1 ace, 1 block, 6 digs.

Connell grabs sixth place: The Eagles started off their day with a tasty bite of revenge, beating Granger in four sets before losing to King’s in the fifth-sixth place match.

“This was a huge accomplishment for us. We haven’t placed (at state) since 2007, when they finished second,” Eagles coach Kate Johnson said. “All weekend, the girls just gave it their all. The 12 players on the team all play as a unit. Regardless of who is on the court, they all support and love each other.”

Michelle Schultz led the way for Connell (19-3) with 24 kills in the two matches, and Courtney Colclasure didn’t miss a serve all day, going 21-for-21. Savannah Egbert and Jessica Hawkins combined for 41 digs.

The 25-17, 25-15, 25-14 loss to King’s was just the Eagles’ third all season.

“These are good volleyball teams,” Johnson said. “If you’re one of the 16 here, to bring home hardware is pretty commendable.”

Set scores: d. Granger 25-22, 25-22, 18-25, 25-19. Leaders—Michelle Schultz 22-23 serves, 2 aces, 22 digs, 19 kills; Savannah Egbert 17-18 serves, 14 digs, 11 kills; Jessica Hawkins 12-13 serves, 2 aces, 15 digs, 9 kills; Kylie Booker 6 kills, 6 blocks; Courtney Colclasure 15-15 serves, 16 digs, 43 assists; Kennidi Whitby 10-10 serves, 7 digs, 2 kills. Lost to King’s 25-17, 25-15, 25-14. Leaders—Booker 10-11 serves, 2 aces, 3 digs; Schultz 12 digs, 5 kills; Egbert 6 digs, 6 kills, 2 blocks; Colclasure 6-6 serving, 8 digs, 19 assists; Hawkins 6 digs, 4 kills; Whitby 3 kills, 2 blocks.

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