LACEY — There is a reason why Bellarmine Prep is the No. 1 ranked 4A volleyball team in the state. The Lions proved deserving of the ranking on Friday, dismissing Snohomish 3-0 in the state quarterfinals.
The Panthers came into the match ranked No. 4 in the state by the coaches, but never threatened the Lions, leading just four points the entire match. Bellarmine Prep won by set scores of 25-13, 25-17 and 25-12.
“They are a very good team,” Snohomish head coach Alex Tarin said. “They are well-coached. We gave them a lot easy points to begin the match.”
Tarin knew his team would have to play at its best to compete with Bellarmine Prep, but it was clear in the early going that the Panthers did not has their “A” game. They started the match off with a serving error and proceeded to fall behind 8-1 before Tarin called a timeout.
“We talked about starting strong and serving tough, and then our first play of the match was a missed serve,” Tarin said. “The girls each game dug a hole and just couldn’t get themselves out of it.”
The Panthers hung with the Lions longer in the second set, but the result was the same. The two teams were tied at 10 until the Lions ripped off seven consecutive points to take a commanding lead.
The Lions delivered the knockout blow in the third set never trailing and winning by 13.
“This (match), their energy was just extremely low,” Tarin said. “I’m not sure exactly why it was. They just did not come out with high energy like they did the first match.”
The match featured arguably the two best players in the state in Snohomish’s Lanesha Reagan and Bellarmine Prep’s Courtney Schwan. The Panthers problems on serve-receive limited Reagan’s effectiveness and Schwan was dominant, finishing the match with 16 kills, 13 digs, two blocks and four aces.
“Courtney is obviously their team leader,” Tarin said. “She’s the one they go to when they need a point. She tips a lot and we knew that she would, but she’s good at using all of her tools. She tips and she hits. We talked about it, but our girls just weren’t ready for it.”
Reagan finished with 16 kills, 12 digs and one ace, nothing to be ashamed of, but also not eye-popping numbers for the star senior.
“It really was our serve-receive that kept her down,” Tarin said. “It was more our errors than it was what they were doing against her.”
The two players were recently the only two players from Washington State named to the Under Armour All-America team by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Schwan was named to the first team, while Reagan made the second team.
The Panthers face Camas at 9:45 a.m. today in a loser-out match. The winner of that match advance to play for fifth place at 5:15 p.m.
Tarin said he believes his team can rebound from the loss and leave the state tournament with a trophy.
“It all depends how big their heart is and I think our team has a lot of heart,” Tarin said. “I expect us to come out firing tomorrow morning.”
In the opening round, the Panthers advanced to the quarterfinals with four-set win over Wenatchee. Set scores were 25-17, 18-25, 25-15 and 25-14. Lanesha Reagan had 18 kills, four aces and 18 digs to lead the Panthers. Maddy Smith added eight kills and four blocks, Emma McNeil had 24 assists and Cyrene Hertzog had 21 digs for Snohomish.
Bellarmine Prep 3, Snohomish 0
At Saint Martin’s University
Snohomish 13 17 12 — 0
Bellarmine Prep 25 25 25 — 3
Highlights—Snohomish: Lanesha Reagan 16 kills, 12 digs, 1 ace. Bellarmine Prep: Courtney Schwan 16 kills, 13 digs, 2 blocks, 4 aces. Records—Snohomish 16-3 overall. Bellarmine Prep 21-0.
Snohomish 3, Wenatchee 1
At Saint Martin’s University
Wenatchee 17 25 15 14 — 1
Snohomish 25 18 25 25 — 3
Highlights—Wenatchee: Not reported. Snohomish: Lanesha Reagan 18 kills, 4 aces, 18 digs; Maddy Smith 8 kills, 4 blocks; Emma McNeil 24 assists; Cyrene Hertzog 21 digs. Records—Wenatchee 11-7 overall. Snohomish 16-3.