The Kamiakin Braves are playing their best volleyball when it counts — the postseason.
After finishing the Mid-Columbia Conference 3-11, the Braves have stepped up their game, beating North Central in a loser-out match Wednesday, then beating Shadle Park and Kennewick on Saturday to remain alive for a state berth.
“We talked about peaking at the right time,” Braves coach Morgan Schauble said. “The beginning of the season was not what we wanted.”
Kamiakin outlasted Shadle Park 25-23, 18-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-12, then used that momentum to beat the Lions 25-22, 25-16, 25-27, 25-17.
The Braves move on to play Saturday at Mount Spokane in the title game, while the Lions will host Rogers in a loser-out game at 6 p.m. Thursday.
“We had a lot of unforced errors,” Kennewick coach Brandy Sonderland said. “They played well, but we handed it to them on a silver platter. We didn’t have a good hitting percentage as a team. There were moments of greatness, just not enough.”
The Lions have to win their next three matches to earn a trip to state, and Sonderland believes her team has what it takes.
“They have that fighter mentality,” she said. “We have seniors that want to get to Toyota Center. This loss is disheartening, but it’s a learning experience for us. In a way, we set ourselves up for success.”
After the Braves won the first two sets off the Lions, they weren’t as fortunate in the third.
Kamiakin l19-15 and 22-18, only to have Kennewick storm back to tie the set at 22 and at 25.
The Braves thought they had won the third set 26-24, and stormed the court, but the up official called an illegal hit by Kourtney Collins, opening the door for the Lions.
A kill by M’Kaylah Mangum gave Kennewick a 26-25 lead, and a hit out of play by Kamiakin gave the Lions the win.
Kamiakin took an early lead in the fourth set and never looked back.
Sophomore Delaney Frame led the Braves with 19 kills, while Maddy Eerkes had 33 assists and Megan Massey 29 digs.
“Delaney is coming along with her hitting,” Schauble said. “She’s changing up her shots and doing a good job.”
Breanna Shaffer led the Lions with 17 kills, while Madeline Gebbers had 30 assists and Monica Kaylor seven kills and five blocks.
Set scores: Kamiakin d. Shadle Park 25-23, 18-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-12. Kamiakin: Delaney Frame 20K, 13 digs; Daryn Lutes 10 digs; Autumn Ziler 7K, 10 digs; Jenna Clark 5K, 9 digs; Kiana Faamausili 9K, 5 digs; Kourtney Collins 13K, 12 digs; Lily Winchel 11K, 15 digs; Maddy Eerkes 22 digs; Megan Massey 36 digs; Reina Deasy 13 digs.
Set scores: Kamiakin d. Kennewick 25-22, 25-16, 25-27, 25-17. Kamiakin: Delaney Frame 19K, 4 aces, 6 digs; Reina Deasy 18 digs; Jenna Clark 9K, 1B, 6 digs; Kourtney Collins 5K, 6 digs; Lily Winchel 12 digs; Maddy Eerkes 33 assts, 12 digs, 2 aces; Megan Massey 29 digs, 4 aces. Kennewick: Breanna Shaffer 17K, 16 digs; Monica Kaylor 7K, 5B; M’Kaylah Mangum 7K; Madeline Gebbers 30 assts, 12 digs; Shyann Pratt 4B; Kidera Miller 14 digs.
SOUTHRIDGE 3, ROGERS 1: Riley Hebdon had 15 kills, and Sophia Sumner added nine kills and 14 digs as the Suns stayed alive in the 3A regional tournament with a victory over the Pirates in Spokane.
Southridge will play at Shadle Park at 6 p.m. Thursday in a loser-out game.
Set scores: Southridge 19-25, 25-17, 25-11, 25-16. Southridge: Riley Hebdon 15K, 9 digs; Ashlyn Dupuis 6K, 10 digs; Bobbi Newton 6K, 2 aces, 4 digs; Kennedy Conrad 32 assts, 8 digs; Shayla Hood 16 digs; Sophia Sumner 9K, 14 digs.
RICHLAND 3, GONZAGA PREP 1: The Bombers punched their ticket to the 4A state tournament with a home victory over the Bullpups.
Richland will play Mead at 3 p.m. Saturday in Spokane in the District 8 championship match, with both teams advancing to state.
“I am so proud of my team for the way they continued to compete against an excellent, well-coached Gonzaga Prep team,” Richland coach Bob Raidl said. “We were without Madelaine Haynie, who is going through concussion protocol, and Hailey Daves stepped up with an outstanding effort. I have moved Hailey around all season and she really came through for us today.”
Lindsay Rosenthal led the Bombers with 18 kills and 19 digs, while Jordanne Bauder added 10 kills, 18 assists and 17 digs.
Set scores: Richland 25-21, 25-21, 23-25, 25-22. GP: Kate Budig 19K,18 digs; Ashlyn O’Keefe 17 digs; Emily Zink 23 assts. Richland: Lindsay Rosenthal 18K, 4 aces, 19 digs; Jordanne Bauder 10K, 18 assts, 17 digs; Lainie Lacey 3 aces, 34 digs; Abby Sorensen 26 assts, 13 digs, 4B; Hailey Daves 9K, 4 digs, 4B; Sage Brustad 11K, 3 aces.
MEAD 3, WALLA WALLA 0: The Panthers advanced to the 4A District 8 title game with a home win over the Blue Devils.
Wa-Hi will face Central Valley in a loser-out match at 11 a.m. Saturday at Mead High School. The Blue Devils need to win two matches to punch their ticket to state.
Noelani Helm, Hannah Hair and Emma Wenzel all had five kills for Wa-Hi.
Set scores: Mead 25-19, 25-13, 25-16. Walla Walla: Noelani Helm 5K, 13 assts, 7 digs; Hannah Hair 5K, 3B; Emma Wenzel 5K, 4B; Kamryn Coleman 9 digs, 1 ace; Emily Dimino 12 digs; Jordan Wicklund 11 assts, 7 digs.
CENTRAL VALLEY 3, CHIAWANA 1: The Riverhawks’ season came to an end with a home loss to the Bears in District 8 consolation action.
Kylie Thorne and Sianna Iverson each nine kills for Chiawanam while McKenna Kaelber had 33 assists.
Paige Wollan recorded 10 kills with five blocks for Central Valley, while Karen Weaver added 22 assists.
Set scores: Central Valley 25-19, 25-21, 17-25, 25-13. Chiawana: Kylie Thorne 9K; Sianna Iverson 9K; Marissa Logozzo 23 digs; McKenna Kaelber 33 assts; Mareesa Hill 7K, 14 digs; . Central Valley: Paige Wollan 10K, 5B; Brianne Bowden 7 digs; Karen Weaver 22 assts, Sami Smith 6 aces.