Skyline High School eyes run at state volleyball title

November 6, 2012

By John Leggett

When Skyline’s volleyball squad breaks camp to participate in the Class 4A state volleyball tournament in Lacey, the Spartans will be aspiring to carry over some of the momentum they recently gleaned by beating nearby nemesis Newport in the KingCo 4A championship match.

In beating the Knights in that championship battle Nov. 1 in Skyline’s gym, where this year’s KingCo 4A tourney was held, the Spartans avenged a setback that they absorbed in mid-September, in which the Knights embarrassed their visitors by getting out the broom on the Spartans, sweeping them three sets to none.

Not only that, but Skyline did not score more than 19 points in any of the three swiftly-moving sets, as a stingy Newport crew made the Spartans earn every stinking point they managed to sweat out on that miserable night.

Fortunately, Skyline’s coach has a very long memory and he did not allow his team to forget that agonizing, torturous evening at Newport.

As any volleyball mentor will gladly tell you, one of the most important elements in the game of volleyball is momentum, and when Skyline handed Newport a demoralizing defeat in that most crucial of matches to date Nov. 1, it made the two squads’ record an identical 9-1 in league and 15-2 overall heading into the state tourney to level the playing field just a bit.

Oh yes! Newport earned the trip to Lacey as well, but unless the two six-packs tussle in the very late stages of the proceedings — namely the quarter and semi-finals — they will not have the opportunity for any 2012 rubber match with one another.

While you can be sure they can’t wait to get at each other’s throats again, they are, in fact, in different brackets.

Newport leads off with Emerald Ridge in the first of the morning’s sleepy-eyed McMuffin matchups and then, should they be lucky enough to overcome the Jaguars, the Knights will go on to trade spikes, digs and aces with the likes of such legendary contingents as Richland, Puyallup, Jackson, Lake Stevens and Gig Harbor.

Of course, at this stage of the proceedings, there are no walks in the park, and Skyline must face off against some powerhouses in its bracket as well, starting front and center to tangle with a feisty, mean-spirited Union High bunch out of the scrappy Greater St. Helens Conference, 3:15 p.m. Nov. 9 on Court 1.

While Union may not be the devastating force it has been in past years, if a squad loses its first match in this pressure cooker, there is only a very slim chance that it will battle back to take all the marbles.

Consequently, the Spartan nation better be ready for a war with Camas, Wenatchee, Auburn Riverside and Mead of Spokane — all teams that are also in its bracket.

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