A few unexpected things happened at Kentwood Friday in the first day of the West Central District III 4A volleyball tournament:
– Kentwood, now 30-0, lost just its third game of the season in a 3-1 defeat of rival Kentlake.
– No teams from the Narrows League advanced to today’s semifinals.
– Curtis earned its first state tournament berth in volleyball since 1978.
Talk about a day.
Kentwood, ranked No. 2 in Washington 4A, extended it nearly perfect season with a first-round victory against Emerald Ridge, 25-10, 25-22, 25-23.
The Conquerors, who boasted a 87-2 game record entering the second-round match with Kentlake, took the first game, 25-19, but started to unravel in the second game.
"They had some good serving and got on runs," junior outside hitter Jessie Genger said. "We didn’t handle it very well, but I thought we got better as the match went on."
The Falcons won the second game, 25-14, and opened up a 13-10 lead in the third game before Kentwood caught itself. The Conquerors, with individual game losses to No. 6 Monroe and No. 7 Rogers this season, went on a five-point rally and went on to win, 25-19. They took the fourth game 25-15 for the 3-1 match victory.
As for the Narrows League, which gets just six spots in the 16-team tournament, Bellarmine Prep and Olympia both advanced to the quarterfinals Friday evening.
The Lions, facing a tough Puyallup squad, won the second game, 25-17, to tie the match at one apiece before dropping the final two, 25-19, 25-19.
On a neighboring court, Olympia rallied back from a 2-0 Curtis lead to win the third game, but lost, 25-16, in the fourth game, giving the South Puget Sound League a quarterfinal sweep.
"The SPSL this year was pretty competitive," Puyallup coach Tony Batinovich said. "I think it helps us quite a bit."
The Curtis win gave the Vikings’ program its third state berth in the program’s history. The other two were in 1973 and 1978, well before any of the current players were born.
Rogers was the only team to advance to the semifinals without losing a single game. The Rams (25-4-2) cruised past Stadium in the opening round, 25-8, 25-15, 25-15, then defeated Tahoma, 25-11, 25-20, 25-23, in the quarterfinals.
Rogers and Puyallup face each other for the third time this season at 10 a.m. for the first berth into the 4 p.m. championship. The Rams have won both previous matches 3-0. Curtis and Kentwood play in the second semifinal at noon in the first meeting for the programs this season.
– Mindi Rice