ELLENSBURG — North Kitsap had another solid run at the 2A state tournament this past weekend at Central Washington University, which left them one win shy of placing in the top eight in the state.
The Vikings were in a tough spot right from the opener, facing off against Ellensburg, which ended up going all the way to the 2A state championship game.
They managed to pull a set from the state runners-up, but lost in four — 25-15, 18-25, 25-19, 25-21. Riley Rabedeaux and Noelani Barreith each finished with 15 kills and setter Sophia Baugh added 28 assists and 17 digs. Libero Autumn Carver led the team with 19 digs.
“We came ready to play on Friday morning against Ellensburg, who ended up with a second place trophy,” said North Kitsap head coach Tim French. “We gave them everything they wanted, especially in set two. Our energy was up and we played some high quality volleyball.”
After that, it was on to the left side of the bracket and a rematch against Fife, which eliminated North Kitsap in the district tournament. The Vikings got some revenge, beating the Trojans in four sets 25-18, 28-30, 25-19, 25-19. Rabedeaux had another outstanding all-around game, racking up a team-high 21 kills and adding 29 digs and going 23-for-23 serving. Barreith chipped in 13 kills and 18 digs and Baugh had 28 digs to go along with 41 assists. Emma Gaines also had seven kills and four blocks.
“They didn’t have an answer for our quick tempo, which we have been working on all season,” French said. “Their blocking was just a bit late.”
The Vikings rolled into their 9 a.m. match on Saturday with a chance to clinch either seventh or eighth place, but standing in the way was a 16-5 Columbia River team.
Each set was close, but North Kitsap couldn’t manage to come out on top in any of them. They lost 25-22, 25-18, 25-23 to end their season. Rabedeaux led the team with 16 kills and 26 digs. Carver added 18 digs and Baugh dished out 26 assists. Columbia River went on to beat Selah to take seventh place.
“The scores were close and we battled, as usual, but our inconsistencies got the best of us,” French said.
North Kitsap finished the season with a 19-4 record, which included a perfect 12-0 run in Olympic League play and two victories in the Olympic League tournament.
“I’m extremely proud of this group for overcoming some challenges, which included practicing for over a month in our auxiliary gym,” French said. “Overall [it was] a very successful season, of which I’m very proud.”