Auburn Mountainview grabs fifth-place at state 3A tourney, Auburn Riverside seventh in 4A | Prep volleyball

Members of the Auburn Mountainview volleyball team celebrate a win at the state tourney. The Lions posted their best ever finish, taking home a fifth-place trophy. - Courtesy Photo
Members of the Auburn Mountainview volleyball team celebrate a win at the state tourney. The Lions posted their best ever finish, taking home a fifth-place trophy.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Coming into this past weekend’s Washington State 3A Volleyball Championship the Auburn Mountainview girls had one thing on their mind.

“Our expectation was leaving with a trophy and nothing less,” said coach Nicole Claudon.

On Saturday the Lions (16-5) accomplished their goal with a fifth-place finish, beating Glacier Peak 3-1 with scores of 25-18, 25-22, 21-25 and 25-21 to claim the trophy.

“The girls have been pretty good about keeping their eyes on the prize all season,” Claudon added.

For the Lions it all started at 8 a.m. this past Friday at St. Martin’s University in Lacey.

“It was an awesome game,” Claudon said. “The had so much energy. We were up and ready to go at 5 a.m. It was awesome to watch them play such great volleyball.”

Auburn Mountainview easily swept past Stanwood 3-1 with scores of 25-18, 20-25, 25-10 and 25-16, earning a second-round match against Prairie.

“We had an eight hour break between the games,” Claudon said. “I don’t think we showed up quite as well as we wanted to.”

Although the Lions had previously beaten Prairie – which went on to win the 3A championship – at the district tourney, the Falcons proved too much, defeating Auburn Mountainview 3-0, with scores of 25-11, 25-20 and 25-18.

“That was a little humbling,” Claudon said. “But it definitely gave us a little spark under our butts. We were able to refocus and remember the goal and to play as a team.”

On day two of the tourney the Lions earned a shot to play for fifth- and sixth-place with a 3-0 win over No. 4 ranked Mount Spokane, with scores of 25-19, 25-19 and 25-19.

“That final game was pretty exciting,” Claudon said. “We had nothing to lose, because we knew we were getting a trophy. We were pretty excited.”

Claudon credits the play of South Puget Sound League 3A MVP Sam Odren for the team’s performance this season.

“She’s our four-year varsity center,” she said. “She’s our quarterback on the court.”

Also instrumental were sophomore hitters Molly Cichosz and senior Maya Williamson.

“Alexia Elliott-Free really stepped up and did a great job as an outside hitter,” Claudon said. “She normally plays defensive specialist.”

The fifth-place finish is the highest placing ever for the Auburn Mountainview program, and the state appearance was the team’s seventh straight.

ALSO: The Auburn Riverside girls earned a seventh-place finish at the Washington State 4A Volleyball Championship tourney, with a 3-0 win over Richland this past Saturday. The Ravens (16-6) defeated the Bombers 3-0 with scores of 25-15, 25-12 and 25-20. Auburn Riverside opened the tourney with a 3-0 loss to top-ranked Mead, 25-17, 25-12 and 25-15 and responded in the consolation brackets with a 3-0 blanking of Monroe with scores of 25-23, 25-23 and 25-16. On Saturday the Ravens opened with a 3-0 win against Skyline, with scores of 25-20, 26-24 and 25-20, setting up the match against Richland.


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