YAKIMA — Finding its rhythm as the day progressed, South Bend split its opening two matches in the state Class 2B volleyball tournament on Friday.
State-ranked LaConner outhit the Indians, 25-23, 25-16, 25-13, in the tourney opener at the SunDome in Yakima. The Tribe, however, later stayed alive by eliminating Riverside Christian, 25-23, 25-19, 25-13.
Although out of title contention, the Indians (17-3) can still finish as high as fifth in the 16-team tournament. They’ll face Southwest Washington district champion Pe Ell in a loser-out contest at 11 a.m. today. They must win twice today to earn a state trophy.
Although the South Bend-Pe Ell contest is a match-up of league champions (the Tribe in the Pacific League; the Trojans in the Central), the two clubs have not met previously this season.
Makenzie Russell led the Tribe against LaConner with seven kills and nine blocks. Kessa Wilson added six kills and seven blocks, while Katlyn Sawyer added five kills.
Alison Funkhouser and libero Emily Sanchez were cited for back-row defense.
“We played OK, but it was hard to get any momentum on our side,” South Bend coach Jackie Sanchez said. “We played hard, but they’re a good team.”
Outstanding passing from Funkhouser, Emily Sanchez, Maddie Klus and setter Myranda Curtis highlighted South Bend’s win over Riverside Christian.
“We looked a lot more loose,” Coach Sanchez said. “We passed really well…and all four hitters were much more consistent in this match.”
Sawyer led the Indians in kills with 11, while Russell contributed eight kills and nine blocks. Wilson had four kills and Kathryn Staats three.
Klus and Emily Sanchez had 10 digs apiece.