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Spikers head to state -- Sports roundup

Spartans go to the net in district volleyball action. - JESSE BEALS photo
Spartans go to the net in district volleyball action.
— image credit: JESSE BEALS photo

It was a loser-out contest, so the Spartans made sure they weren’t the losers.

In Saturday’s final rounds of district competition, the girls volleyball team won the two matches they needed to secure a berth at the state championships.

The Spartans sailed through their first contest against Cedarcrest, 15-5, 15-7. Michelle Miller led the way with 10 kills and 12 digs; Laura Bartunek had seven kills and seven digs; Kristina Purdom notched five kills and 13 digs; and Ashley Bice recorded 23 assists and seven kills.

The team followed up with a 15-9, 15-7 victory against the host Newport Knights to lock up a spot in the district’s top eight teams. Ashley Bice delivered an impressive 18 kills, four digs and four aces.

The Spartans’ only loss of the day was against Mercer Island in a playoff for the third and fourth seeds at state.

Bainbridge’s early season trend of dropping the first game was nowhere in evidence as the team battled Mercer to a 15-13 victory.

Despite losing Miller, one of the team’s key players, to injury half way through the first game, the Spartans kept the pressure on, just losing the second set, 14-16.

But the tide finished its turn toward Mercer in the third, which the Spartans lost 10-15.

“Michelle came back in during the third game but we were down by so much that we just couldn’t pull off the comeback,” said coach Julie Miller.

Miller praised the performance of Ashley Anderson, who subbed in for Michelle Miller. Kristina Purdom was also stellar, with 19 kills and 17 digs for the match.

“Everyone played well,” Miller said of the day’s competition. “We worked as a team.”

The Spartans begin state competition tomorrow in Yakima, where they must finish in the top two of their four-team pool to advance to bracket play.

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***Poloists take second at state

On Sunday, Team Ray got what it wished for all season: a trip to the finals to face the number one team in the state.

The result was what most had predicted: Mercer bested Bainbridge 26-10 to capture the state title for the third year in a row.

It was the latest in a series of near misses for the Spartans, who last won the championships in 1996, and who lost to Mercer for the title last year.

But the loss couldn’t dim the luster of the Spartans’ season – and the team’s impressive march to the championships.

Twice on Friday and twice on Saturday, Bainbridge claimed victories: against Bellevue, 9-8; against Curtis, 16-7; against Puyallup, 10-5; and finally a 13-11 nail-biter against arch rival Newport, a team from whom Bainbridge anticipated trouble.

Several Spartans were also named to the first, second and third all-state teams; complete results were not available at press time.

Photos from the tournament will be posted later in the week at www.TeamRay.org.

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***Gridders close with big win

Scott Burkland rumbled for 170 yards and four touchdowns Friday, leading the Spartan gridders to a 42-13 rout of Chief Sealth in their season finale at Seattle’s Memorial Stadium.

The win gave the Bainbridge a 6-3 season record, good for a second place conference finish, tied with Eastside Catholic. But by virtue of the Spartans’ earlier loss to Eastside on the field, they were bumped out of playoff contention.

“Our goal after the O’Dea loss was to go 4-0 in the second half,” coach Andy Grimm said. “We met our goal, so we felt pretty happy about that.”

The Spartans fell behind early, but put up 28 points in the second quarter to secure the win.

Quarterback Joe Picha was solid in the pocket, completing seven of 16 passes for 120 yards and one score. Receiver Mike Ersser recorded a touchdown catch.

Spartan defensive backs recorded three interceptions, one each from Ersser, Liam Corey and Zach Kornfeld.

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***Islanders skip to victory

Each competing member of the Bainbridge Island Ropeskipping Team earned a ribbon in the third annual Speed and Power Tournament at Leavenworth

Nearly a hundred skippers from eight Washington and British Columbia teams competed in nine speed- skipping, power (double-unders) and endurance events. Former team members Erica Dewitt, Carly Sanders and Betsy Tawresey were among the 40 official judges, who count the number of times the rope goes under the feet in a 30 second, 60 second or three -minute interval.

Results (name, ribbons earned, place, event):

Kali Balma, 3, 4th in single rope speed relay

Christina McCrudden 5, 4th in single rope speed relay, double dutch speed relay

Lizzie Sharman, 3, 4th in single rope power relay

Becca Doll, 5, 4th in single rope power relay

Anna Canfield, 6, 1st in single rope speed relay

Kirsten Hartz, 1, 5th in double dutch pairs speed

Vanessa Hurd, 6, 1st in single rope speed relay

Rachael Bentley, 6, 1st in single rope speed relay

Wendy Tawresey, 8, 1st in individual single rope speed, single rope speed relay

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