Spikers’ streak of state appearances at an end

Bainbridge bows out to Skyline in district tournament.

WEST SEATTLE – The streak is finally over.

The Bainbridge volleyball team had their moments, but couldn’t overcome the eighth-ranked Skyline Spartans in a 28-26, 29-27, 28-30, 13-25 and 10-15 loss in the opening round of the 3A Sea-King District 2 tournament Thursday at West Seattle High School.

The loss eliminates them from districts and ends their streak of five straight state appearances.

Bainbridge took the first two games in hard fought fashion, but after losing the third game after an intense back and forth rally on several match points, lost their momentum as Skyline rallied for the win and stayed alive.

“I don’t know really know what to say about what happened,” head coach Julie Miller said afterward. “I thought we played the best we’ve played in a long time in the first three games and I don’t know what happened going into the fourth game but we stopped doing what we were doing the whole time.”

In the first game, Skyline took a 3-0 lead, but Bainbridge came back to take a 9-4 lead.

Skyline slowly worked its way back to tie it at 17, but Bainbridge kept the lead by one point.

After Skyline went ahead 23-20 on two Bainbridge errors and an ace by Lindsey Kim, Bainbridge rallied to tie on a kill and an ace by Kelcey Dunaway.

Both teams traded the lead through match point but Emily Donohue kept things alive with a tip and a kill.

Skyline committed two errors to finally put Bainbridge over the top.

In the second game it was more of the same.

Both teams traded the lead until Bainbridge went ahead 11-6 on the back of three aces by Hillary Grant and two kills by Janna Russell.

But Skyline fought back to take a two point lead on a block and a Bainbridge kill that went out.

Bainbridge stayed right with Skyline and tied it up thanks to a kill by Russell and a tag team block by Donohue and Russell.

Skyline took a one-point lead but was unable to finish as Russell and Dunaway kept Bainbridge in it.

After a Dunaway block put Bainbridge on match point, Skyline couldn’t return a block, giving Bainbridge the second game.

“We never gave up,” Miller said of their efforts the first three games. “We stayed aggressive. We never gave up.”

The third game was a war, as both teams fought through 16 ties and 17 lead changes.

Skyline’s biggest lead was just four and Bainbridge’s was three.

Russell tied things up at 14 with two aces and it went on from there, as both teams got critical points from many players.

Skyline got to match point first, but a serving error and a Dunaway tip kept the game tied.

But despite their best efforts, Bainbridge couldn’t get ahead by the one point they needed to close it out.

After Russell tied it up at 28 on a kill, Skyline scored on a kill that just stayed in as it was buried in the left corner.

The next serve was a tough one that Donohue couldn’t handle, finally putting Skyline ahead.

Miller said she didn’t think the team would let the tough loss get them down.

“I thought the girls were ‘fine, OK’” let’s get the next one, she said. “They (Skyline) won that on a great serve. That was a really great serve to the deep corner.

“We stayed in that match longer probably than we were supposed to,” Miller continued. “So I thought we still pretty much had the momentum, or we were even.

“But that’s why we played so well because we were aggressive mentally and physically.”

Bainbridge didn’t keep it up though, as Skyline controlled the fourth game.

Bainbridge kept it as close as four, but too many errors and kills from Skyline were their downfall.

In the final game, Bainbridge never got ahead.

They rallied to close within four at match point, but a Skyline kill that wasn’t returned ended their season with a 11-7 record.

“There’s no good way to end it (the streak),” Miller said. “By those first three games we had the potential in us but we couldn’t get the job done.”

Dunaway finished with 19 kills, five aces, 15 digs and five blocks.

Russell had 14 kills, three aces, two blocks and 11 digs while Chelsea Bell had 35 assists and 18 digs.

Becky Gottlieb had 18 digs while Grant had 22 digs and three assists.

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