Monday, November 13, 2006
YAKIMA - Seniors in the Grandview volleyball program earned their fourth consecutive State trophy this past weekend, finding their best results yet with a second-place finish at the 2A State tourney held in the SunDome.
Just as they did throughout the CWAC season, Grandview swept its first three State opponents 3-0.
The sweep through the first three matches was a reversal of last year's trip to State, when Grandview lost its opener before earning the fifth-place consolation trophy.
"We're a little more experienced," said Coach John La Fever.
Play for Grandview opened first thing last Friday morning with a 25-9, 25-18, 25-9 win over Riverside. That was followed by a 25-23, 25-20, 25-13 sweep over Mark Morris to close out play on Friday.
On Saturday the Lady Greyhounds punched their ticket to the championship match with a 27-25, 25-20, 25-9 win over RA Long.
That set up a finale against CWAC foe Selah, last year's 3A State champ.
During the regular season, the two teams split a pair of matches.
In Saturday's final, the Vikings held off Grandview for a 25-17, 28-26, 25-16 win to take the 2A State title.
"Losing that second game 28-26 was kind of the back breaker," said La Fever.
Despite the loss, La Fever was pleased with his team's second-place finish during a season that saw Grandview (33-2) knock of the defending 3A and 4A State champs.
"We just didn't beat them at the right time," La Fever said of Saturday's loss to Selah.
For the tourney, Kealey Johnston had 35 kills and 52 digs for Grandview, while teammates Raissa Licano and Kinzi Poteet each led the Lady Hounds with 37 kills apiece. Johnston also had 32 service points and three aces for the tournament.
Chante Bottineau recorded an incredible 95 assists for the tourney to set up the Grandview net attack.
Grandview's Danika Martinez had 24 digs and teammate Jessica Gonzalez had 28 service points. Katie Veloz had 33 digs for Grandview, with 23 of those during clutch play in the quarterfinal win over Mark Morris and the championship match.
During the three seasons prior to this one, Grandview finished fourth in the 3A tourney, before placing sixth two years ago and fifth last year.
"All but one of those years we won three games at State," La Fever said proudly.
La Fever gave credit to the Grandview community for helping the Lady 'Hounds to this year's second-place finish.
"The big thing is that we had good fan and parent support," he said. "There must have been 125 or 130 fans with us at Miner's after the match."
The news gets better for Grandview volleyball fans next season, as the team will lose just three seniors off of this year's squad.
"Our team is set up for the future," La Fever said. "We're still a young team."