By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
MARYSVILLE — The Kamiak Knights went green.
No, that doesn’t mean the Knights were looking out for the environment on Tuesday. It means they took the easiest route possible to the 4A state volleyball tournament. The Knights had highlighted the three possible routes that they could take to state on one of the 4A District 1 brackets and the easiest route, winning their first two matches to qualify was highlighted in green.
“That was our little cheer all day,” Kamiak coach Natalie Bowie said. “Go green.”
The win also earns the Knights a spot in Friday night’s 4A District 1 championship match.
To get there the Knights had to push past the Lake Stevens Vikings in the district semifinals. The Vikings are no slouch, they finished tied with Snohomish for the regular season Wesco North championship.
That didn’t seem to faze the Knights, who reeled off a 25-17, 25-19, 25-14 victory to advance to state.
Kamiak senior Bryce Larson, who finished the semifinal match with 17 kills and 21 digs, said she didn’t expect this when the season began.
“It feels amazing,” Larson said. “I really wasn’t going into the season expecting this at all. But with our heart, somehow we pulled it out.”
It didn’t matter if Larson was in the back row or the front row, the Vikings couldn’t stop her from putting down ball after ball.
“I was really excited, all I wanted to do was go to state,” Larson said. “Every time I was hitting the ball I was like, ‘this is for state.’”
Bowie always seems to know what she is going to get from her senior captain.
“She is consistent mentally and she is also consistent physically,” Bowie said. “She has a gift at motivating people on the court.”
Larson had a little help from her setter Ally Bowles, who finished with 32 assists and libero Sarah Cross, who had 17 digs.
Lake Stevens (11-5) was led by McKayla Huntley with six kills and Nicole Carroll with 28 digs.
But the night belonged to the Knights, who trailed for only two points in the entire match and never trailed in the final two sets.
With Kamiak’s two wins on Tuesday, the Knights improved to 14-2 on the season. Both of the losses have come at the hands of the Jackson Timberwolves, so come Friday night, there is no question who the Knights want in the district championship.
“I can’t wait,” Bowie said. “C’mon, let’s go. The girls are excited.”
With respect to the other three teams playing today for a chance to advance to the district championship, Bowie expects to see the Timberwolves.
“I plan on it,” Bowie said. “Unless lightning strikes, I’m sure we will see Jackson. No offense to any other teams of course, but yeah, we plan on playing them.”
Jackson plays Marysville Pilchuck and Snohomish plays Cascade in today’s quarterfinals matches. The winners of those two matches will play a winner-to-state semifinal later in the evening. The losers will meet in loser-out match in the consolation bracket also later in the evening.
The Knights won’t be without a little support from their fans on Friday night.
“Our school already has two charter buses going full of fans, so we are ready,” Larson said.
Monroe 3, Edmonds-Woodway 0
Monroe eliminated Edmonds-Woodway from the 4A District 1 volleyball tournament by scores of 25-14, 28-26 and 25-21. Kaitlin Lebon had 18 digs, Melina Seabrook had 18 kills and Kendal Munoz had 20 assists and six aces for the Bearcats (11-5 overall). Sidney Eck and Allison Rutz each had eight kills and Maddie Houvener had 19 assists for the Warriors (3-13).
Lake Stevens 3, Edmonds-Woodway 1
Lake Stevens advanced to the semifinals with a 19-25, 25-18, 25-19 and 27-25 victory over Edmonds-Woodway. McKayla Huntley had 10 kills and four blocks and Cecelia Licciardi had 17 kills for the Vikings. Maddie Houvener had 39 assists and Sidney Eck had 14 kills for the Warriors.
Kamiak 3, Monroe 1
Kamiak advanced to the semifinals with a 17-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-20 victory. Bryce Larson had 24 kills and 15 digs, Kate Nantz had 12 kills and Ally Bowles had 39 assists for the Knights. Melina Seabrook had 15 kills, Kendal Munoz had 12 kills and 22 assists, Taylor Latimore had 24 assists and Kaitlin Lebon had 14 digs for the Bearcats.
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Read his live blogs at www.heraldnet.com/prepzone, follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.