Great day for orange and black

MARYSVILLE — On a night synonymous with the colors orange and black, it’s only fitting that the team that sports those same colors is the team that dominated the evening.

The Monroe Bearcats earned the first 4A District 1 state berth Wednesday with a Halloween night 25-19, 25-20, 25-21 district semifinal victory over Edmonds-Woodway at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.

“I told the girls it’s the one day that it’s great to be wearing orange and black,” Monroe head coach Dawn Hanson said.

The victory earned the ‘Cats (14-2 overall) their third straight trip to the 4A state tournament and its second consecutive trip to the 4A District 1 championship match. Monroe lost to Kamiak in the district championship in 2006.

Monroe never trailed by more than four points the entire night in sweeping the Warriors and its opening round opponent, the Mountlake Terrace Hawks.

Led by Kaitlyn Drew’s 34 assists, the Wesco North No. 1 seeded Bearcats swept the Hawks 25-16, 25-13, 25-10 in the opening round.

The Bearcats had a harder time against Edmonds-Woodway, the No. 2 team from the South.

After cruising to victory in the opening game, the Bearcats fell behind in the second game, allowing Edmonds-Woodway to grab an early lead at 12-8.

Monroe showed why it is one of the toughest teams in the conference, battling back to tie the score at 15-15 before eventually taking a 17-16 lead and holding on for a game two victory.

“The girls don’t falter, they dig down and they keep coming and coming … they play until the end,” Hanson said.

In the third game the Bearcats went to their junior standout Kylin Munoz early. Munoz — who finished with 24 kills against Edmonds-Woodway — had four of Monroe’s first five points as the Bearcats jumped to an early lead.

“She jumps so well. She hits above the blocks,” Edmonds-Woodway head coach Mike Pettis said of Munoz.

Whenever the Bearcats needed a point they turned to the 6-foot, 2-inch Munoz, who had 17 kills and eight digs in Monroe’s opening round win over Mountlake Terrace.

“She’s a great player, a skilled player that can see the court really well,” Hanson said of her star.

Jerrika Groeneweg added 10 digs and Drew led with 36 assists.

“We have confident players and really great team leadership, especially with our seniors Kelsey Brennan and Taylor Davis,” Hanson said.

Brennan and Davis came through in the final points of the third game. Brennan had two kills late in the game and Davis’ ace at 24-21 clinched the victory for the ‘Cats.

Despite the loss, Pettis wasn’t disappointed with his team’s effort.

“I’m not unhappy with the performance. We get on a little run and we make some mistakes. We’re still pretty young. We had three sophomores on the floor most of the time. That’s a big step for them, especially against a team as experienced as Monroe,” Pettis said, referring to sophomores Leigh Fishback, Hannah Lauber and Haley Scott.

Fishback led the Warriors with 24 assists against Monroe and junior Cailin Fellows added 13 kills. The Warriors move into the consolation bracket and play Saturday at 11 a.m. in a loser-out game. Their opponent will be determined today.

Fishback (46 assists), Scott (18 digs) and Lauber led the Warriors in their opening round win over Oak Harbor. The Warriors took their first two games 25-17, 25-23 before dropping the third game 25-16. The Wildcats had the Warriors on the brink of a 2-2 tie in the third game, leading 24-19, but Lauber scored seven points in a row and the Warriors won 26-24.

“We got a couple of blocks and a couple of tough serves, so it was a nice finish,” Pettis said of his opening round victory.

The consolation round saw the Hawks defeat Oak Harbor 25-18, 11-25, 25-20, 25-16 to live on to play another day. Their opponent will be determined today.

Terrace (7-9) came into the game losers of three of its last four but bounced back defeating an Oak Harbor (10-5) team that, up until the final week of the season, was contending for the Wesco North title.

“They just play defense like crazy. They don’t have the big hitters but they stay in there and stay in there,” Pettis said of the Hawks.

4A District 1 tournament

Monroe def. Mountlake Terrace, 25-16, 25-13, 25-10.

Edmonds-Woodway def. Oak Harbor, 25-17, 25-23, 16-25, 26-24.

Mountlake Terrace def. Oak Harbor 25-18, 11-25, 25-20, 25-16.

Monroe def. Edmonds-Woodway 25-19, 25-20. 25-21.

Monroe advances to the Class 4A state tournament.

Edmonds-Woodway and Mountlake Terrace play loser-out games Saturday. Their opponents are to be determined.

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