YAKIMA — It was too much Hailey Brockway and too many unforced errors for the Lake Stevens High School volleyball team, and as a result the Vikings settled for a second-place state trophy for the second time in four years.
The Graham-Kapowsin Eagles rode Brockway’s hot hand and Lake Stevens’ mistakes to complete a 25-21, 25-18, 25-22 sweep of the Vikings in the Class 4A state championship match Saturday afternoon at the Yakima Valley SunDome.
Brockway, a senior outside hitter, was nearly unstoppable swinging from the left side, pounding down kill after kill at key junctures throughout the match to lead the seventh-seeded Eagles (21-4) to their first volleyball state championship in school history.
“I give it up to her,” Lake Stevens coach Kyle Hoglund said about Brockway. “She rose to the occasion, and while I don’t know her exact stats she didn’t really have any unforced errors. She carried the team on her shoulders and did so without any struggles, she didn’t crumble.”
Lake Stevens (18-3), the No. 4 seed which upset top-seeded and previously undefeated Puyallup in the semifinals, matched its second-place finish from 2019.
“(Second place) is an achievement, but it hurts,” Hoglund said. “It’s not fun when you don’t win the big one. But it is an achievement for the girls, I’m happy for them and proud of what they accomplished.”
The match began with a closely-contested first set as the score was tied at 19-19. But Graham-Kapowsin scored six of the set’s final eight points, with Brockway putting away back-to-back kills to give the Eagles some separation at 23-20. Graham-Kapowsin put the set away with an ace.
In the second set Lake Stevens jumped out to an 8-5 lead. However, a fortunate Graham-Kapowsin serve that clipped the tape and dropped straight down for a point sparked a nine-point Eagles run, as the Vikings struggled with serve reception and Brockway put away a pair of kills from the back row. Lake Stevens, which trailed by as much as 20-11, pulled back within 22-17 on a Hayli Tri kill. But a pair of Lake Stevens service errors throttled the momentum.
The final set was knotted 9-9 when the Eagles again went on a long run, this time a seven-pointer with Brockway getting the kill for four of them. Graham-Kapowsin seemed all but certain of the championship when the lead grew to 21-11, but Lake Stevens fought back thanks to a Peri Hoshock service series that included two aces. Tri’s block brought the Vikings within 22-20 to prompt an Eagles timeout. But once again it was a Brockway, as her kill out of the timeout halted Lake Stevens’ momentum, and Graham-Kapowsin claimed the title when the Vikings made four touches.
“We had a little struggle with (unforced errors) for a bit,” Hoglund said. “But the flip side is that we were pushing hard. When you’re serving hard you’re going to make some mistakes.”
In Saturday morning’s semifinal against Puyallup, Lake Stevens dropped the first set before prevailing 22-25, 25-22, 27-25, 25-21. The Vikings played nearly mistake-free in pulling off the upset.
“We played them lights out,” Hoglund said. “It was a full team effort, it was really complete, everyone did their job excellent.”
Jackson takes seventh
The Timberwolves completed a perfect run after falling in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament, polishing it off by defeating North Creek in five sets to claim seventh place Saturday at the Yakima Valley SunDome.
Jackson, the No. 12 seed, was swept by Curtis in the opening round before beating Richland 3-1 in a consolation match, both on Friday. Then on Saturday the Timberwolves topped No. 8 West Valley (Yakima) 16-25, 26-24, 25-22, 25-22 to reach the seventh/eighth match against No. 2 North Creek. The Timberwolves topped the Jaguars in a thriller, taking it 25-21, 23-25, 25-20, 17-25, 15-12 to earn their first state trophy since taking third in 2012.