The North Thurston High Rams were the volleyball underdogs all weekend, but soon became a star attraction at the Class 3A state volleyball tournament.
The undersized Rams went all the way to the title match at Marcus Pavilion before being swept by Prairie in three sets (25-20, 25-22, 25-16).
Along the way, North Thurston defeated Shorewood, Columbia River and Southridge, registering those wins with speed and defense.
With senior outside hitter Brittany Rutherford playing at less than 100 percent all weekend with a sprained ankle, multiple players came up clutch, including fellow senior Jessica Malchow. In the three-set semifinal win over Southridge earlier in the day Saturday, she tallied her second straight match of 17 kills. She finished with seven in the title match.
Up against a Prairie team that features four players 5-foot-11 or taller, North Thurston kept toe-to-toe during the first two sets, getting five kills in each set from Rutherford. In fact, North Thurston had a slim, 22-21 lead late in the second set, but the Falcons scored four straight points, including three on three straight aces by Carissa Campbell that closed it out, giving the Falcons a 2-0 lead.