Prep Volleyball

WIAA considers Kennewick again for state volleyball tournament

Kennewick's Toyota Center could be a state volleyball tournament site again — and the format of the tournaments could change, too.

“We’re totally up in the air with volleyball,” said Cindy Adsit, the WIAA assistant executive director who oversees volleyball.

Adsit said there were "issues at every site" this fall, including lengthy delays, not enough seats or restrooms, limited concessions for spectators and poor outside lighting. Some of those issues can be fixed by site managers or by moving locations. Others can only be remedied if the tournament format is changed.

In November, the 4A and 3A tournaments were staged at Saint Martin's University in Lacey, and the Evergreen State College hosted the 2A tournament. The 1A, 2B and 1B tournaments were held at the Yakima SunDome.

The most pressing issue, Adsit said, is the tournament format and schedule.

At the 4A and 3A tournaments, the schedule fell behind by almost four hours. First-day matches that began Friday lasted into Saturday, finishing at 12:40 a.m.

Adsit said the WIAA was looking at ways to ensure matches don't last past 10 p.m. Among the changes considered are reducing teams' warmup time before matches; reducing matches to best-of-3 instead of best-of-5; making the tournament single-elimination until the semifinals; and reducing the number of teams that reach the state-tournament site to eight, four or two.

Adsit said the WIAA will send questionnaires to volleyball coaches to solicit their opinion on prioritizing potential changes.

Adsit said the SunDome was in little danger of losing its tournaments, but the 4A, 3A and 2A tournaments would change locations unless reforms were made. She said Evergreen had to overcome a few hurdles to be considered to host the 2A tournament again.

“Whether or not we’re back at Evergreen is a big 'if,' " Adsit said. "If the courts are put side-to-side, we won't be going back.”

The WIAA has looked into other potential sites, including the Toyota Center in Kennewick, Clark County Events Center and Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee. Adsit said Saint Martin's was interested in hosting the tournament again, too.

Everett's Comcast Arena, Kent's ShoWare Center and Spokane Arena were either not available or not interested in hosting the tournaments.