YAKIMA The Pateros Nannies shrugged off a slow start at state to sweep the Quilcene Rangers, 3-0, in the first round of the state 1B volleyball tournament Friday in the SunDome.
“It took the girls a while to get into gear,” said Pateros coach Gene Dowers, whose team won 26-24, 25-11 and 25-13. “Then, our seniors took over.”
Quilcene coach Joni Crowell didn’t disagree, calling her Rangers a “young” team that started three freshmen and two sophomores.
But Crowell didn’t take anything away from the decisive victory by the Nannies, who improved to 17-0.
“They are scrappy,” she said. “They played very, very good defense.”
In the first set, however, the teams looked evenly matched with multiple lead changes. The turning point in the set, and indeed for the entire series, came on an ace with the score tied at 22.
That point encouraged an emotional change on the floor and the bench, as Pateros never again trailed.
Coach Dowers credited senior players Chloe Gill and Jessi Dowers with controlling the court and tempo. He also credited junior Emily Larsen and sophomore Madison White for “serving really well” through the series.
The team leapt from the bench after taking the third set, setting up a rematch from last year’s state tournament against the Christian Faith Eagles from Federal Way.
“We’ll see if we can do it again,” said coach Dowers, whose team won, 3-0, last year.
Christian Faith reached the state quarterfinals this year with a 25-13, 25-11 and 25-13 win over Three Rivers Christian.
That quarterfinal matchup was scheduled for 8:15 p.m. Friday; results were not available by press time.
At the conclusion of the game against Quilcene, sophomore Ashton Steggall was presented with the Sportsmanship Award, an honor she didn’t expect.
“I think it’s really amazing,” Steggall said. “I didn’t think I’d get it.”
But Steggall’s message to her teammates and fans said it all:
“We can have really good sportsmanship and be respectful.”