There should be an advantage to playing in the state volleyball tournament when it’s in your own back yard, but Southridge is yet to figure out the magic formula.
The Suns went 0-2 on the first day of action at the Class 3A state tournament at Toyota Center, finishing the day with a five-set loss to Snohomish.
Riley Hebdon had 23 kills in the match for the Suns, who led 2-0 before the Panthers rallied for an 18-25, 26-28, 26-24, 25-23, 16-14 victory.
“I thought we had that,” Southridge coach John Lengphounpraseut said. “It’s disappointing. We put in a good effort; sometimes that’s how it goes. We would have liked to play another day, but no one predicted us to be here.”
The Suns are 1-6 at the state tournament when it’s been held at Toyota Center. They were 1-2 in 2006, 0-2 in 2009, and 0-2 this season.
“We take a lot of pride in being here,” Lengphounpraseut said. “I just need to find a way to end the jinx at Toyota Center. It has not been kind to us.”
In the 4A ranks, Richland and Walla Walla lost their opening matches and faced loser-out contests late Friday night.
Southridge looked to put Snohomish away early, leading 19-14 in the third set and on the cusp of closing it out. But the Panthers were relentless and knotted the score at 20 moments later.
After a 24-all tie, Snohomish laid down back-to-back kills for the win.
In the fourth, the Suns again jumped out to nice leads of 11-7 and 19-14. Hebdon kept Southridge in the thick of things with a pair of kills, but the Panthers’ play at the net helped them force a fifth set.
After a 9-9 tie in the fifth, Snohomish ran out to a 13-9 lead. That’s when Southridge turned up the fire.
Hebdon had three kills as the Suns took a 14-13 lead, but the Panthers finished with a kill and a block for the win.
“Credit Snohomish,” Lengphounpraseut said. “They stepped up. They don’t make a lot of mistakes.”
Hebdon added 21 digs and two blocks to her stat line, while Sophia Sumner had nine kills and 13 digs, Shayla Hood 32 digs and Kennedy Conrad 45 assists and 14 digs.
“Riley had a great run during the playoffs,” Lengphounpraseut said. “She gave everything she had.”
In the Suns’ first match of the day, they lost in three sets to defending state champion Lakeside.
Set scores: Snohomish d. Southridge 18-25, 26-28, 26-24, 25-23, 16-14. Southridge: Ashlyn Dupuis 8K, 16 digs; Bobbi Newton 8K, 5B; Riley Hebdon 23 kills, 21 digs, 2B, 2 aces; Sophia Sumner 9K, 13 digs, 2 aces; Shayla Hood 32 digs; Kennedy Conrad 45 assts, 14 digs.
Set scores: Lakeside d. Southridge 25-17, 25-21, 25-22. Southridge: Riley Hebdon 11K, 7 digs; Sophia Sumner 7K, 7 digs, 2 aces; Kennedy Conrad 23 assts, 8 digs; Shayla Hood 16 digs. Lakeside: Reilly Pigott 19K, 5 digs; Maddie Ryan 33 assts, 10 digs; Alena Korobko 10L, 5 digs.
EMERALD RIDGE 3, RICHLAND 2: The Bombers pushed the Jaguars to five sets before losing the deciding set 15-10.
“We had our chances, they just won a few more points there at the end,” Bombers coach Bob Raidl said. “We had a lack of confidence there in the middle of the fifth. You are going to win all of the points, you just have to win the right ones.”
Richland finished the day with a loser-out match against Lake Stevens.
After splitting the first four sets, Richland had a 7-5 lead in the fifth but could not sustain the edge. Emerald Ridge took the lead for good at 8-7.
“There were nerves,” Raidl said. “You can’t create this environment in practice. They were a good team, but so are we. I feel we can finish strong an bring something home.”
Lindsay Rosenthal led the Bombers with 16 kills, while Jordanne Bauder had 10 kills and 21 assists, and Lainie Lacey 44 digs.
Set scores: Emerald Ridge d. Richland 25-16, 24-26, 25-14, 20-25, 15-10. Richland: Jordanne Bauder 10K, 21 assts; Sage Brustad 13K; Lindsay Rosenthal 16K; Abby Sorenson 20 assts; Lainie Lacey 44 digs; Madelaine Haynie 5K, 4B. Emerald Ridge: Taylor Templeman 13K, 19 digs; Ella Litterell 3 aces, 13K, 8 digs; Kava Durr 13K, 17 digs; Jadyn Mullen 5K, 40 assts, 20 digs.
CURTIS 3, WALLA WALLA 0: The Blue Devils, making their first state appearance since 2002, dropped a three-set match to the Vikings, but pushed Curtis every step of the way.
“These are the best teams in the state,” Wa-Hi coach Tracy Rotert said. “Curtis’ passing was phenomenal. They have good hitters, and we made them work for it.”
Noelani Helm led the Blue Devils with 10 kills, 15 assists and 10 digs while Hannah Hair added nine kills and Jordan Wicklund 11 digs and 12 assists.
“We need to find a way a way to hit the ball when it’s not perfect, and find the holes,” Rotert said. “We need more us.”
The Blue Devils had a strong following Friday, with their fans taking up more than a section at Toyota Center.
“We had the best crowd today,” Rotert said. “The girls were able to feel it.”
Walla Walla played Jackson in a loser-out game Friday night.
Set scores: Curtis d. Walla Walla 25-16, 25-19, 25-20. Walla Walla: Noelani Helm 10K, 15 assts, 10 digs, 1 ace; Hannah Hair 9K; Faith Hoe 4K, 1B, 1 ace; Emily Dimino 10 digs; Jordan Wicklund 11 digs, 12 assts; Kamryn Coleman 5K, 9 digs; Emma Wenzel 3K, 2B. Curtis: Kasey Woodruff 26 digs; Haley Moton 25 assts, 16 digs; Kayla Skipworth 9K, 13 digs; Katie Yorke 14K, 5 digs.