Kennedy upends Eastlake in volleyball showdown
BY GERARDO BOLONG
Throughout the entire season, the Kennedy Catholic girls volleyball team has had to deal with teams that have a decided height advantage.
Sharli O'Neill and Mikayla McAllister are Kennedy's tallest players at five-foot, nine inches tall, respectively.
Instead of using power hitters regularly on the front line, the Lancers have relied primarily on defensive digs and blocks to keep rallies underway. The ability and savvy to maneuver the ball into scoring position plus a strong bonding and team resiliency also characterize the 2017 edition of KC volleyball.
The mighty mite Lancers used this credo just to earn the seventh and final West Central/Southwest bi-district seed into the state tournament.
On Fri., Nov. 10, NPSL 4A Kennedy Catholic wrote another chapter into its record book by upsetting Kingco champion Eastlake 3-1 at the Toyota Center in Kennewick in the first round match of the 2017 WIAA state tournament.
Action began with Kennedy playing Eastlake evenly before dropping a 25-23 first set.
The Lancers from Burien then revved up their engines.
Dominating all phases of the match up, the mighty mite Lancers fired away for set wins of 25-9, 25-10, and 25-11 against the Wolves to reach the second round of the winners bracket later in the day.
Against Mead which has a handful of players 5-11 or taller, the Lancers worked the ball well and won down the stretch run, 25-23.
Balanced scoring served Mead well in a 25-19 second set triumph.
The Lancers were embroiled in a 10-10 draw in the third set, but the Panthers prowled quickly for a 15-4 surge and a 25-14 win.
Sophomore Haley Moore worked herself into position for Lancer kills as Kennedy Catholic bolted to a 5-2 fourth set advantage. The Panthers engaged in battle and eventually caught KC at 16-all. Back and forth raged the action until a Mead blocked shot clinched the set at 27-25.
Kennedy Catholic faced the prospect of a 9 a.m. loser-out match on Saturday against Tahoma.
On Saturday the Lancers finished one win away from the elite eight in a 3-2 loss to the Tahoma Bears.
In like fashion to its 3-2 regular season loss to Tahoma, Kennedy kept the ball passing after a 25-15 first set loss to rebound and take a 2-1 set lead following 25-21 and 25-16 wins.
In the fourth set, the Lancers and the Bears waged war evenly with both squads earning chances for victory. The Lancers neared victory in the match while the Bears kept from falling off the edge of elimination until Tahoma edged out the 30-28 triumph.
Fifth set play was tough, but the Bears surged to a 15-9 set and match win.
John F. Kennedy Catholic closed out its season at 16-7.