SPOKANE - A strong service game has been a hallmark for the Grandview Lady Greyhound's volleyball team this season.
But at this past Saturday's Regional tourney, the girls used a power game to claim a second seed berth to the State 2A tourney.
Grandview knew it was headed to State when it opened Regional play Saturday against West Valley of Spokane, it was just a matter of how high they would finish.
The Lady Greyhounds stumbled in the first game against West Valley before rallying for a 3-1 victory.
Grandview prevailed 17-25, 28-26, 25-17, 25-15 over West Valley. Grandview Coach John LaFever said the key to rallying for the victory was his team's improved blocking at the net in the clutch. "We did a good job, we figured out what they were doing," he said.
That set the stage for the Regional title match against defending State 2A champ Pullman.
It looked like Grandview might pull off an upset, only for Pullman to rally for a 24-26, 25-20, 25-14, 26-24 victory to claim the region's top seed at State.
After winning game one, Grandview was actually tied 20-20 in game two with Pullman before the defending champs reeled off five points in a row.
After Pullman won game three to go up 2-1, Grandview had a chance to even the match when it led at game point, 24-19. Pullman came back again, pounding out seven straight points for the win.
"We came on and made some big plays in the first game and we were playing really well, but they (Pullman) just grabbed control of the match," LaFever said.
The coach noted Grandview had no answer for Pullman's twin towers at the net in the form of two 6-5 players. "When they trapped us in certain rotations it was hard to get out," he said.
LaFever praised his team's play at the net.
"Both of the teams we played are really good at ball control," he said. "You don't just get to run away from them with service points, you have to win points on kills and blocks."
Accordingly, Hayley Smasne had 18 kills and 10 blocks in the two matches combined to lead Grandview at the net. Teammate Adriana Ramos had 14 kills and 13 stuffed blocks, while Payton Parrish paced the Grandview attack with 59 assists to go with 16 digs, 13 service points and eight kills.
Mikeala Espinoza and Taylor Hall each had 13 kills for the Lady Greyhounds.
Despite having a No. 2 seed, the draw put Grandview in the breakfast bracket of the State 2A tourney at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.
The Lady Greyhounds will play the first match of the tournament at 8 a.m. this coming Friday against Tumwater.
"That's fine," LaFever said of drawing the tourney's tip-off. "We've got to play at some time."