PARKLAND — Kingston and North Kitsap will have to get to the 2A state tournament the hard way as both teams lost their respective winner-to-state matches Thursday in the District 3 tournament.
The Bucs won their opener, defeating Foster in four sets, but then lost to Fife in the quarterfinals at Franklin Pierce High School to set up a match against Highline at noon on Saturday.
Over at North Mason High School, the Vikings were swept in three sets by White River, setting up a 10:30 a.m. match Saturday against Port Angeles.
In order to reach state, both teams will have to win two matches on the left side of the bracket. Both the fifth and sixth place teams in the district tournament will advance.
“We’ve been here before, we deserve to be here,” said Kingston head coach Ed Call. “These kids have worked hard enough.”
Kingston lost its opening set against Foster, 25-21, but stormed back afterwards to win three consecutive sets and the match. The Bucs opened a 5-2 lead in set two thanks to kills from Abby Steele and Madeline Seid. Morgan Halady also recorded a pair of aces during that set, as did Marion Stejer.
Halady picked up five more kills during an 8-0 run that closed out set three nicely for Kingston, winning 25-13. Steele continued her superb hitting night as well, adding another four kills. Steele finished with nine overall. The Bucs cruised through the fourth set to move on to the quarterfinals.
Against Fife, Kingston came out and immediately stole the first set, winning 25-17 thanks to some strong blocking and hitting. Halady had two blocks, and Seid and Steele each added a block as well. In set two, things were all tied up at 10 until the Trojans were able to get their hitting in rhythm and pull away. A late 10-3 run gave Fife a 25-15 victory.
The Buccaneers lost a little steam over the final two sets and Fife came out triumphant in both, winning 25-15 and 25-12. But Call was pleased with his team’s effort following the loss.
“We just hung with a really good team,” Call said.
If the Bucs are able to defeat Highline, they will move on to the winner of the River Ridge-Orting match at 2 p.m. A win puts them in the fifth/sixth place match at 4 p.m.
North Kitsap sits on the other side of the bracket and will take on the winner of the North Mason-Foster match at 2 p.m. if they are able to sidestep the Roughriders. A win there would also allow them to finish fifth or sixth and return to state.