Auburn Mountainview snags district volleyball title
By SHAWN SKAGER
Auburn Reporter Sports Reporter
November 17, 2008 · 4:41 PM
Lions open state tourney play Thursday vs. Shorecrest
With a slew of state-ranked teams, including South Puget Sound League 3A champs Sumner, Kennedy and Union looming on the schedule at the West Central District volleyball tournament, the Auburn Mountainview squad knew they would have their hands full.
The Lions proved up to the task this past Saturday, however, as they defeated No. 10 ranked Union and beat No. 1 Sumner on their way to their first district title.
“We set a very solid goal (to win the district title) before the tournament,” coach Momi Bowles said. “We set goals, and we believe they are possible.”
First on the slate for the Lions was Union. Keyed by Oregon State University-bound senior Megan McBride, the Lions powered by the Titans 25-24, 25-15 and 25-15. McBride had 23 kills, 25 assists and 13 digs. Tara Patton added 10 kills and Alex Odren had 14 digs.
The win set up a rematch against league rival Sumner in the title game. The Spartans had defeated Auburn Mountainview early in the season, 3-1, making the game a bit of a grudge match for the Lions.
“The girls were really excited to play Sumner again,” Bowles said. “We’ve improved a lot since we met them last time.”
“We were really excited to play them,” McBride agreed. “We wanted another shot at them, because they beat us badly earlier in the season. They were a very good team, and we were ready to take another shot at them.”
With the pressure off, McBride said the team was confident despite losing the first game of the match with Sumner, 25-16.
“After the first game, coach didn’t really say much to us,” she said. “She said we knew what we need to do. So we kind of came into the second game knowing that we had nothing to lose, Sumner was the one with something to lose. We knew we were really where we wanted to be, and it took the pressure off of us.”
The Lions found their groove in game two and put away Sumner 3-1 in the match with scores of 25-21, 25-19 and 25-23.
McBride led the team with 11 kills, 32 assists, 3 blocks and 10 digs. Tara Patton had 17 kills, and Krystle Hansen added 10 kills. Alex Odren had 22 digs, and Tricia Patton contributed 13 digs.
“We’re just confident right now,” McBride said. “We know from here-on-out there are no bad teams anymore. We just have to play our A-games, and we know we can beat anyone. After playing the first, second and third ranked teams this past tournament, we know we can beat anyone when we set our mind to it.”
“We knew that we were playing better and practicing better and hitting our stride,” she said. “It was nice to come in there and beat all those ranked teams.”
The Lions play their first-round state tournament match at 10:30 a.m. Thursday against No.2 ranked Shorecrest at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.
“We’ve actually been pretty good at the morning games,” Bowles said. “We did a couple of tournaments and we practice in the morning. We do okay in the morning. So it’s nice to see us pull the 10:30 p.m. I’m optimistic.”Contact Auburn Reporter Sports Reporter Shawn Skager at email@example.com or (253) 833-0218, ext. 5054.