Two goals down, one to go.
The Southridge volleyball team won the first regional title in program history Saturday, crushing Shadle Park and University High of Spokane in Kennewick to lock up a state berth.
“It’s amazing,” Southridge’s Kimmy Brinkworth said. “We’ve all put in so much time and effort. We’ve worked our butts off and we 100 percent deserve it.”
The Suns defeated University 25-22, 25-14, 21-25, 25-17 to win the title. They defeated Shadle Park in the semifinal 25-22, 25-11, 25-13.
They will play in the Class 3A state tournament Friday at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey at a time to be determined against an opponent to be determined. The WIAA announces state volleyball matches this morning.
“It’s really exciting for us,” Southridge’s Kylie Fraga said. “It’s pretty crazy knowing we are the only team from Southridge to win a regional title and go undefeated.”
The Suns do have one loss on the season, but it was in a tournament in Oregon.
They ran the table in the Mid-Columbia Conference and then went 3-0 in the district/regional tournament against Spokane schools. Southridge also reached the regional final in 2009, but didn’t win.
“Our first goal was to win league and second was regionals,” Fraga said. “Now we’re starting our third goal — to win state.”
Southridge is certainly the favorites to do just that.
The Suns have been ranked No. 1 throughout the season and returns everyone from a team that took third a year ago.
“Our sights are on a state championship,” Southridge coach John Lengphounpraseut said. “The girls are ready for it. This is a nice midway point (regional title) of our ultimate goal.”
Southridge opened with a dominating win against Shadle Park, playing its best match of the season according to Lengphounpraseut.
Brinkworth had 19 kills and seven digs in the match, while Fraga dished out 39 assists, Alyssa Palmer had seven kills and 16 digs and Makenna Behrens had 23 digs.
In the title match, the Suns jumped out 2-0 and then seemed to lose a bit of focus, before bouncing back for the fourth-set victory.
“The nice thing about this team is they respond quickly,” Lengphounpraseut said. “That is a unique thing about this team — the mental part is very strong.”
In that match, Brinkworth had 20 kills and seven blocks, while Fraga had 52 assists and three aces. Jordan Mix added 15 kills and 15 digs and Paige Thompson had 13 kills and three blocks.
“We’ll probably celebrate this tonight and tomorrow,” Brinkworth said. “Then on Monday at practice, we’ll get ready to focus on the next match.
“We have to show everybody that we deserve it.”
Southridge 3, University 1
Set scores: 25-22, 25-14, 21-25, 25-17. Southridge—Kimmy Brinkworth 20 kills, 7 blocks, 7 digs; Makenna Behrens 25 digs; Jordan Mix 15 kills, 15 digs; Kylie Fraga 52 assists, 3 aces, 13 digs; Alyssa Palmer 8 kills, 14 digs, 3 aces; Paige Thompson 13 kills, 3 blocks.
Southridge 3, Shadle Park 0
Set scores: 25-22, 25-11, 25-13. Southridge—Rylee Russell 10 digs; Makenna Behrens 3 aces, 23 digs; Jordan Mix 7 kills, 9 digs; Kylie Fraga 39 assists, 6 digs; Alyssa Palmer 7 kills, 16 digs, 2 aces; Kimmy Brinkworth 19 kills, 7 digs; Paige Thompson 6 kills, 5 blocks.