The Lions make easy work of the Wildcats, winning the championship match 3-0 as they hang around to bask in the moment.
KENNEWICK — The Lakeside Lions — players, coaches, family and fans — gathered on the floor of the Toyota Center to celebrate the school’s first state volleyball title Saturday night, a 3-0 win over Mt. Spokane.
And they stayed long after the Class 3A match was over as tournament officials were breaking down the nets, putting away chairs and dimming the lights.
The players sang a rousing rendition of “Hallelujah,” the team’s song, that would have made its songwriter, Leonard Cohen, sing along with them had he not passed away this weekend.
The Lions (23-8) also celebrated with the players from Auburn Riverside, who won the Class 4A title around the same time at the other end of the arena.
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The Lions wanted to keep things going, because they don’t know when they can all be together again.
“There are club volleyball tryouts tomorrow for some of them,” Lakeside coach Teron Uy said. “Kallin (Spiller) has basketball tryouts Monday. There is no rest for the weary.”
And the Lions were weary.
“I have homework to do Sunday because I didn’t do any this weekend,” said Spiller, who earned tournament MVP honors.
She had eight kills alone in the first set, a 25-15 win that was never in doubt as Lakeside jumped out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back.
Katherine Outcalt added four kills and two aces in that first set.
“We’ve been trying to develop someone on the front line besides Kallin,” said Uy, whose team entered the tournament with a 15-game win streak and left with 19 straight victories.
And other players such as Reilly Piggott, Maddie Ryan and Sam Foulk got their licks in at the net with either kills or blocks.
The Lions won the second set 25-15 too, and it was the veteran Spiller — who will play volleyball and basketball at Seattle University next fall — who took charge after leading just 12-10.
Her three kills and two blocks keyed a 13-5 run for the win.
By then, it was a matter of time before Lakeside claimed the title. Mt. Spokane (22-7), led by standout Miahna Waters’ frontline play, made a run in the third set and closed to within 19-17.
But more of Spiller — two more kills — proved too much for a 25-19 win and a 3-0 sweep.
“My sophomore year, we made a goal that we wanted to be the first team at Lakeside to win a state title,” Spiller said. “We did it. Our goals were to win Metro, district and state.”
For Uy, it was the perfect end to a season that forced him to move around parts.
“Our MVP from last year (Chloe Loreen) had shoulder surgery and we moved her to libero,” said Uy, who joked, “I had to earn my money this year.”
And getting Outcalt back proved to be a key.
“She was injured early in the season with bicep tendinitis,” said Uy, whose team finished 23-8.
Uy and the Lions were planning on celebrating all the way back to Seattle on Saturday night.
“We’ll sing a lot of songs, including more versions of Hallelujah,” said Spiller.
Uy had simpler goals.
“I want to get home without falling asleep at the wheel,” he said.
Mercer Island takes third
Natalie Robinson wasn’t about to do any crying.
After she and her Mercer Island teammates lost a 3-2 heartbreaker in the semifinals, she said the team got together to psyche themselves up.
“As soon as we lost we wanted to take what worked and use that for the next match,” said the senior setter. “That would be our high energy and aggression.”
So the Islanders took that and went out and swept Capital of Olympia 3-0 to finish third at the tournament.
“We wanted to have fun,” said Robinson. “In no way am I disrespecting Capital, but we definitely wanted to win the third-place trophy. Try our big swings.”
Which they did, hammering home kill shot after kill shot in the win.
The Islanders finished 22-3, a pretty good season in they eyes of Mercer Island head coach Susan Rindlaub.
“One of the things we talked about, was I wouldn’t tell them if they could win the state title until I really thought they could,” said Rindlaub. “That didn’t happen until mid-season.”
Yet even after they lost the semifinal match to Mt. Spokane, Rindlaub and the Islanders got over the heartbreak fast.
“I told them they needed to leave it out on the court,” Rindlaub said. “It was one of their last matches together as a team. So play together as a team. It worked. I just reminded them.”
Capital ended its season at 22-7, with a fourth-place finish.
Bellevue takes sixth after loss to Tides
Bellevue volleyball coach Vance Kalingo thought his team could be the best in the state.
“We had our team banquet earlier this week, and I told them I think we could win the state title,” said Kalingo.
It didn’t work out that way, but the Wolverines still finished strong, placing sixth..
Bellevue lost 3-1 to Gig Harbor in the fifth-place trophy game – the only match of the four the Wolverines played that didn’t go five sets over the weekend.
Bellevue opened the tournament with a 3-2 win over Arlington, then lost 3-2 to Capital in the quarterfinals. The Wolverines opened Saturday’s consolation play with a 3-2 win over Timberline.
“No. 1, I’m not surprised we did this well,” said Kalingo. “No. 2, I’m not disappointed with our finish. I looked at our girls before the tournament, and I really thought we were the best. Gig Harbor was the No. 1 team coming into this tournament, but I felt we were going into the postseason finally establishing a trust between our players and our coaches..”
But Kalingo said because his team has gone so deep in sets so late in the season, “I trust the girls that I know what they’re doing. Sometimes, though, it’s like a rocking roller coaster.”
Things will be even brighter next season for Bellevue. The Wolverines return 90 percent of their roster, Kalingo said.
Prairie wins 7th/8th-place match
Andrea Doerfler had been Prairie’s long-time head coach until four seasons ago.
“I was out for three years, as my oldest daughter was playing at Hawaii Pacific,” she said.
But when her daughter was done playing, Doerfler was able to come back to the Prairie program this season.
And it was a successful return, as the Falcons beat Ferndale 3-0 to earn seventh place.
Zoe McBride led the Falcons with 17 kills and 9 digs, while Katie Vroman added 14 kills. Megan Hess had 37 assists and five digs for Prairie.
“The girls worked hard all year,” said Doerfler. “They were pretty resilient.”
After opening the tournament with a 3-1 loss to Lakeside, the Falcons never lost again, winning nine straight sets and going 3-0.
Prairie finishes the season with a 25-6 record, while eighth-place Ferndale ends with a 23-8 mark.
Kallin Spiller, Lakeside, Sr. (MVP)
Katherine Outcalt, Lakeside, Sr.
Miahna Waters, Mt. Spokane, Jr.
Hali Ehresmann, Capital, Sr.
Selena Dutton, Gig Harbor, Sr.
Kelly Behrbaum, Mercer Island, Jr.
Natalie Robinson, Mercer Island, Sr.
Maddie Ryan, Lakeside, So.
Alexis Desautel, Mount Spokane, Sr.