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PREP VOLLEYBALL: Trojans, Lions and Ravens prepare for district meets
By SHAWN SKAGER
Auburn Riverside finished second at the South Puget Sound League 4A sub-district volleyball tournament last Saturday at Todd Beamer High School.
The No. 14 ranked Ravens (8-0 SPSL North 4A, 11-3 overall) fell to second-ranked Graham-Kapowsin (9-0,15-0) in the championship match, 3-1. Game scores were 22-25, 24-26, 25-20, 22-25.
Despite the loss, coach Christine Leverenz said the Ravens are ready for a postseason run.
“We’re evolving. We get better every day,” she said. “The longer we’re in it, the better we’re going to be.”
Leverenz said the Ravens have been shoring up their defense in anticipation of an assault from a difficult field at the West Central District III tournament. Matches begin today and conclude Saturday at Kentwood High School.
“Physically we’re working on blocking and picking up our defense,” Leverenz said. “Our offense is good and we’ve got Brooke (All-SPSL first-teamer Brooke Bray) and good hitters. We’re also working on the mental pieces, going in thinking positive, and that we’re good enough to beat any team.”
Auburn Riverside will open against Wilson (8-9), the Narrows League No. 6 seed, at noon today.
Trojans move on No. 4 seed
The Auburn Trojans also moved on to the district tournament despite a 3-0 loss to Puyallup in SPSL 4A sub-district play. The Trojans (6-2, 8-5) were undone by the Vikings (6-2 SPSL South 4A, 12-3). Games scores were 15-25, 19-25, and 24-26. The Trojans will play as the No. 4 seed out of the SPSL at the WCD III tourney at 1:45 p.m. today against Narrows League No. 5 seed Stadium (10-7). …
Lions settle for second seed
Auburn Mountainview snatched the No. 2 seed out of the SPSL North 3A tournament last weekend at Auburn Mountainview High School, splitting a pair of matches.
In the first round, the fifth-ranked Lions (7-1 league, 14-2 overall) defeated Evergreen 3-0 with scores of 25-21, 25-13 and 25-18. Sam Odren led the team with 28 assists with Tricia Patton adding 11 kills. Kelsey Fausko and Caitlin Carr added seven kills apiece.
In the SPSL 3A title game for the No. 1 seed to the WCD III 3A tourney, the Lions fell 3-2 to White River. Games scores were 19-25,26-28, 25-10, 25-17 and 12-15.
“We came out a little slow,” coach Momi Bowles said. “This was our first opportunity to come back in a match after dropping the first two. We came back and played tough. But when you get to that 15-point game, you never know what you’re going to get.”
The match was the third meeting between the Lions and the Hornets this season, with Auburn Mountainview winning, 3-0 and 3-2 in their previous matches.
“We knew they were pretty scrappy,” Bowles said. “The last time we played them they had a lot of unforced errors. This time we had a lot of unforced errors. We just didn’t come out as hot as we normally do, and I think that kind of gave them free reign to come and get us. They do a really good job of keeping the ball coming at you.”
Carr had 19 kills, 21 digs and four aces in the contest with Sam Odren contributing 42 assists. Alexi Morton had 14 kills and three blocks and Alex Odren chipped in with 17 digs. Melissa Aria had four aces and Fausko added four blocks.
Now the Lions will be preparing to host the WCD III 3A tourney today and Saturday at Auburn Mountainview. The Lions will face either Olympic or North Thurston in their 2 p.m. opener today.
“I’m excited to be in it, obviously after graduating six players and not being sure of how it was going to go,” Bowles said. “Along with the exciting part though comes the reality of where we are. We’re still trying to define ourselves as a team. We don’t really have that one superstar. We’ve got five hitters and we use two different setters. We’re just hoping that the cumulative of our team effort is going to be enough.”
“We’re definitely preparing strong for the tourney, especially that first round and getting into the winners’ bracket. We’re mainly working on ball control and communication and the things that tripped us up at sub-districts.”