Burlington-Edison claims tournament
This was no David and Goliath. Class 4A Bellarmine Prep of Tacoma expected a battle against Class 2A Burlington-Edison in the championship...
Seattle Times staff reporter
AUBURN — This was no David and Goliath.
Class 4A Bellarmine Prep of Tacoma expected a battle against Class 2A Burlington-Edison in the championship match of the Puget Sound Adidas Invitational volleyball tournament Saturday at Auburn Mountainview.
The Lions got that, all right. After a slow start, Burlington-Edison pulled off a three-set victory to cap an incredible week, 23-25, 25-21, 15-11.
In the upper echelons of high-school volleyball, classifications often don't matter.
"When you're good, you're good," said senior Lucy Capron, who pounded 21 kills in the final.
The Tigers, expected to be No. 1 in 2A when the state coaches' poll comes out, are awfully good. They opened the season last Tuesday with a 3-2 victory over Jackson of Mill Creek, the defending Class 4A state champion currently ranked No. 1 and was picked No. 56 in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com.
Bellarmine Prep, ranked No. 3 in 4A, beat Jackson 2-1 in the semifinals Saturday. The Lions blew out to a 12-3 lead against B-E in the opening set but were erratic the rest of the way. Sophomore Courtney Schwan also finished with 21 kills.
Burlington-Edison, fourth at the 2A state tourney last season, swept Auburn Mountainview in the semis, 27-25, 25-21.
It was a tough week for Jackson, which needed five sets to get past Snohomish on Thursday.
The Timberwolves reached the final four Saturday despite playing outside hitter Miah Diirell at libero because of a sore shoulder. That put extra pressure on middle hitter Emmy Allen, who appeared a bit tired late in the semifinals. Jackson bounced back to take third place with a one-set victory over Auburn Mountainview.
"We've got to work out some kinks," coach Ashley Allen said.
Seattle Prep coach Marcene Sullivan had similar sentiments after the Panthers failed to earn a top-eight finish, falling into the Silver Division. Seattle Prep is the defending 3A state champion currently ranked No. 2. They wound up ninth Saturday.
"We're just mixing it up, trying to see everybody," said Sullivan, who took over as coach this season.
She admits her players feel pressure as defending state champs.
"It's just a matter of taking the pressure off them feeling that they have to win," Sullivan said. "They've got big targets on their backs. They need to let that go. What matters is where you finish. We've got a long way to go."
Ditto for Woodinville, ranked No. 7 in 4A. The Falcons showed their usual flashes of brilliance but also struggled at times and finished 11th.
Auburn Mountainview was the top 3A finisher in the tournament. The eighth-ranked Lions, who split sets with Seattle Prep in pool play, lost only to Burlington-Edison and Jackson.
"We got some really big swings today against some really good teams, so I couldn't be happier," coach Momi Bowles said.
Prairie, No. 3 in 3A, was in a tough second-round bracket and ultimately placed 14th.
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