YAKIMA, Wash. – For the first time since 2018, the Class Triple-A state volleyball championship trophy will not be in Spokane High School’s trophy cabinet.
Seattle Lakers beat 2018 and 2019 champions Spokane Hills in a four-set semifinal on Friday before sweeping defending champion Meade in the final at the Yakima Valley SunDome for the best finish in Lilac City.
The top-seeded Lions also won the title in 2016.
The championship was redemption for Lakeside, which also entered the 2021 game as the No. 1 pick. No. 1 seed, but failed to make it to the trophy round.
“There’s definitely some unfinished business,” Lions coach Jeff King said. “The seniors wanted it, they earned it, they played their best game in the final game of the season.”
The Lakeside team served well, defended tightly, and shot 12% from the outside.day– Seniors Sophie Broesamle and Yazzy Muhammad were crowned.
“Coming together this year for the state championship and being successful is the reward for everything we had to go through last year,” said Mohammed, who was slowed down badly by a season-ending serious left knee injury.
The 6-foot-2 standout capped her career by hitting the ball past the Panthers defense for the Lions’ final two points.
“A lot of our seniors have been on the team since our senior year, when we weren’t that good — we barely got where we were that year,” she said. “It’s very rewarding for us to come here and dominate a team like Mead.”
As if taking down the tournament favorites wasn’t already a daunting task, the Panthers — the No. 1 seed. 2 – Try to find a rhythm.
“We’re a center-based team, and if we don’t pass the ball right, we’re in trouble,” Meade coach Sean Wilson said. “Once we didn’t pass the ball like we needed to, we were in trouble from the start.”
The Lions jumped on the Panthers in each of three sets and never looked back. A 7-2 lead in the first set, then 12-7 in the second, Lakeside won 12-4 in the tiebreaker after Mead scored the first two points of the tiebreaker.
“We really wanted to focus on serving and defending — just a relentless attitude, going after every ball and making sure nothing fell and sacrificed your body,” King said.
Mead defeated Bishop Blanchett 25-19, 19-25, 26-24, 25-20 to advance to the final.
However, the Bears bounced back and beat Spokane Hills 17-25, 27-25, 26-25, 25-22 for third place in a rematch of the 2016 tournament.
The Wildcats’ fourth-place finish was their sixth straight top-five finish.
(Featured photo by Eric Trent)