Monroe volleyball sweeps North Creek, clinches state berth

The Bearcats admitted being intimidated by 17-1 North Creek, but proceeded to shut the Jaguars down.

BOTHELL — Monroe senior Sophia Barber admitted she and her Bearcat teammates were intimidated heading into their winner-to-state 4A Wes-King Bi-District volleyball tournament semifinal matchup against one-loss North Creek

If that was the case, it didn’t show on the court.

Monroe (12-4) put together one of its most complete efforts all season, contained KingCo 4A MVP Gabby Kepley and clinched its second state tournament berth in the past three years with a 27-25, 25-21, 25-16 sweep of North Creek.

“I think that we were definitely intimidated knowing how well they did in their regular season,” said Barber, a middle blocker. “But we were really confident coming into this. We’ve been working really hard in our season and were ready to see them.”

Bearcats coach April Munoz said a key to her team’s success against the Jaguars (17-2) was the ability to spread the ball around and attack from many different spots on the court.

“We’ve got great hitters everywhere,” Munoz said. “We use them all, and they aren’t afraid to go back to each other when one of them makes a mistake. I think our chemistry helps that.”

The Bearcats move on to face Lake Stevens for the bi-district championship at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Bothell High School. Monroe snapped the Vikings’ 38-game regular-season winning streak earlier this year.

“We’re really excited,” Barber said of the matchup. “We’ve (beat them) before. We can do it again. We know that if we put our mind to it we can beat any team out there.”

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