The Richland Bombers were not themselves Friday night. So much so that coach Bob Raidl tweeked the lineup against Bellarmine Prep in the 4A state quarterfinals.
No matter the combination of the floor, the Bombers could not get in synch against the Lions, dropping a 25-11, 25-23, 25-17 match at Toyota Center.
“One thing about coaching, if the players are struggling, we have to make changes,” Raidl said. “Bellarmine Prep plays fast — quicker than what we usually see. They were a little better than we were, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t good.”
The Bombers (18-3) will play at 9 a.m. Saturday against Auburn Mountainview, which lost its quarterfinal match to Auburn Riverside in three sets.
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The Lions (25-4) will take on Auburn Riverside at 1 p.m. Saturday in the semifinals.
“To be playing in the top four, we have to do our work,” Lions coach Caroline Meines said. “We played Auburn Riverside last weekend and lost to them in five, with the fifth set 15-13. We have to keep our heads in the game. It was good for us to play a team like Richland to challenge us.”
Bellarmine Prep, which advanced to the quarterfinals with a four-set victory over Issaquah, wasted no time in setting the tone against Richland.
Addy Woolery strung together seven points for a 9-2 lead in the first set, then Claire McCarthy put six more on the board as the Lions jumped out front 19-6.
The Bombers scraped together a couple of points to make it 22-8, then got three points from Lainie Lacey to make it 22-11 before BP closed out the set.
Richland’s fortunes turned around in the second. The Bombers led 6-2 and 11-8 before the Lions rallied back.
The teams forged ties of 14-all and 17-all before BP took the lead for good at 18-17. Richland pulled within 24-23 with a kill by Sarah Howlett, but Hannah Pukis returned the favor on the next play to seal the win.
Ten unforced errors hampered the Bombers in the third set, but they still were in it at 15-12 before Pukis and Brianna Thompson did damage at the service line for a 22-17 advantage.
An ace serve by McCarthy closed out the match for the Lions.
“We didn’t quit,” Raidl said. “We had a hard time putting the ball away. I think we were a little scared. Their confidence hurt us.”
Meines had nothing but praise for Richland.
“It was a great night,” she said. “Richland is a good team. They extended rallies and kept the ball alive. That pushed us.”
Lindsay Rosenthal and Madelaine Haynie each had seven kills for the Bombers, while Lexi Lacey and Sarah Rowlett each had five.
Pukis, who is headed to Washington State, had 11 kills, 22 assists and 11 digs for the Lions, while Rylee Born, who has committed to Whitman College, had eight kills and eight blocks.
“Rylee has been really good all year,” Meines said. “She has raised her level of play here.”
Set scores: Bellarmine Prep 25-11, 25-23, 25-17. Richland: Jordanne Bauder 2K, 7 digs, 10 assts; Eliana Muccio 12 digs; Madelaine Haynie 7K, 3B; Kamry Breard 3K, 4 digs, 8 assts; Abby Sorenson 7 digs, 8 assts; Lainie Lacey 12 digs; Lexi Lacey 5K, 2B; Sarah Howlett 5K, Lindsay Rosenthal 7K, 7 digs. Bellarmine Prep: McKenzie Schwan 9K, 7 digs; Claire McCarthy 4 aces, 3K, 8 assts, 14 digs; Hannah Pukis 11K, 22 assts, 11 digs; Addy Woolery 16 digs; Rylee Born 8K, 8B.
RICHLAND 3, GRAHAM-KAPOWSIN 1: It took a bit for the Bombers to get their nerves in check, but once they did, they dispatched the Eagles (15-14) in four sets in their opener.
“It’s exciting to get that first win,” Raidl said. “The first match is always hard — it’s a different environment, and you are nervous. We were down in the first, but we are resilient.”
Richland, which trailed 7-0 in the first set, rallied to win 29-27, then took the second set before dropping the third.
“You can’t take anything for granted,” Raidl said. “In the third, we let up on the gas, and Graham-Kapowsin showed why they are here. They are a good team.”
In the fourth, the Bombers led from the start. Eliana Muccio served for the match as the Eagles sent the ball out of play.
Rosenthal led Richland with 13 kills, while Kamry Breard had 11 kills, 14 digs and 15 assists. Jordanne Bauder added 28 assists and Lacey 22 digs.
Set scores: Richland d. Graham-Kapowsin 29-27, 25-13, 22-25, 25-13. Richland: Kamry Breard 11K, 14 digs, 15 assts; Jordanne Bauder 14 digs, 28 assts; Madelaine Haynie 5K; Lainie Lacey 22 digs, 5 assts; Lindsay Rosenthal 13K, 7 digs; Lexi Lacey 9K, 5 digs; Hailey Daves 5K; Sarah Howlett 9K. Graham-Kapowsin: Raedyn Goudreau 26 assts; Peyton Foster 17K, 13 digs; Hannah Barbour 14 digs; Mariah Senato 7K, 6B.