Tumwater 3, Curtis 2 (25-20, 18-25, 25-22, 18-25, 15-12)
(University Place, WA) The defending 4A State Champions Curtis are disappointed they lost their opener to Tumwater, however they are from discouraged as they lost last year their opener to the T-Birds then went on to win the State Championship. In an odd turn of events 2 years ago Tumwater lost to Curtis in their opener and then went on to win the State 2A Championship. Tumwater Head Coach Tana Otton and Vikings Head Coach Michael Miller both joked that if the match got to a 2-2 tie they might just stop and go for the Daily Double.
Well the match indeed went to 2-2 but they decided to play on and the T-Birds made a dramatic comeback to win it 3-2. Let’s start from the beginning, the Vikings came out firing from the start even though they lost 4 starting Seniors from last year’s title team, Miller believes his squad will be ready for the heart of the SPSL 4A season. Haley Morton got things started reeling off 4 straight point to take a 4-0 lead.
Curtis would eventually lead by as much as 9-4 when the experiened T-Birds began to kick it into gear. Kennedy Croft the brilliant Junior and Coach Otton’s daughter scored 2 from the service line. Brooke Hare would add a few more to pull within 1 when Mia Basso took over. Basso fired off 3 points to give Tumwater their 1st lead and Croft followed with a pair of kills. Cristina Hegerty took-over with a 23-20 lead and finished it off with a tremendous block at the net by Hare to give the T-Birds a 25-20 1st game win.
In the 2nd game the Vikings again would take an early lead but this time would never look back. After battling back and forth the key run came from Kayla Skipworth running off 5 points with an ace to extend their lead from 6-5 to 11-6. Morton would later add 4 more after trading point giving Curtis a 17-9 lead. During this time Sarah Randall and Katie York would come up with some key kill shots and the Vikings would cruise never really being challenged evening the match at 1-1.
It was Tumwater’s turn to take the advantage in this back and forth ping-pong like affair and they did just that. The key play in this game also ended up being named our ProActive Physical Therapy Play of the Game. Kennedy Croft was serving and on the return Maddy Pilon somehow reached down and popped up an unbelievable dig off a kill shot. Tumwater would score the point and Croft would add 2 more points to open up an 18-15 lead. The 2 would basically trade points either Croft or Bella Najarro would come with a big block for the 25th point to win it 25-22 and took a 2-1 lead.
Curtis was not ready to throw in the towel and came back strong again in the 4th game. It was Skipworth again breaking open the scoring reeling off 4 straight with a 7-7 score. She would fire an ace and hand over an 11-8 lead. Kiley Buck would add to the lead and then the 2 teams would basically trade points and again Randall had some great blocks and kills for the Viks when Alanis Smith would serve the winning point for Curtis. She fired it over but it was dug out nicely and returned by the T-Bird defense when Katie York demolished right down the middle of the defense for the game winner and we were all square 2-2.
As the match entered the 5th and deciding game it looked like York might again be the difference blowing open the race to 15 with 4 points and giving Curtis an 8-3 lead. Croft then went on a 4 point run to cut it to 9-7. Hegerty then reeled off 4 in a row as well to give Tumwater the lead 12-10. On her 5th serve Sarah Randall destroyed the return with a massive kill shot and would have been the play of the game had the Vikings rallied to win. Brook Hare would make it 14-11 and then they would win it taking the last point as Alanis Smith scored one for Curtis but could not complete the comeback.
It was a great battle and start to the season for both teams. Our Tommy Lowe of the Greene Realty Group Player’s of the Game were Cristina Hegerty for Tumwater and Sarah Randall for Curtis.