Sports

Spikers take bronze at State

Spartans Ashley Bice (left) and Marijke Schwartz Smith attempt to block a spike again the Sequim Wolves in the first round of  of the WIAA State Volleyball tourney held in Everett last Friday. Bainbridge earned third place honors.  - JIM BRYANT photo
Spartans Ashley Bice (left) and Marijke Schwartz Smith attempt to block a spike again the Sequim Wolves in the first round of of the WIAA State Volleyball tourney held in Everett last Friday. Bainbridge earned third place honors.
— image credit: JIM BRYANT photo

Your heart breaks with theirs, as much as you elate with them as fans when things go well.

And you have to remind yourself, as captain Michelle Miller exclaimed after pulling out a win against Camas, claiming the bronze at State to cap a fine run by the Bainbridge girls volleyball team:

“Winning third place at state is awesome!”

After dropping the semifinal to White River, a match that would have sent the Spartans into a much-anticipated showdown with Bishop Blanchet for the title, the girls’ emotions were on the Everett Event Center floor.

Bainbridge (29-4) had roughly two hours to pull together to focus on the win to end their season. Camas was in no mood to accommodate, jumping ahead in the first game with a 25-21 win.

Losing the first game could have signaled another tough match, like the semifinal loss to White River, who came from behind throughout the tournament.

Instead, the Spartan girls pulled together as they had for most of the season. Down on points in game two, they swept to a 3-1 win, claiming third place, the best-ever finish for any Bainbridge volleyball team.

Bainbridge players turned to each other to shrug and laugh, or to focus. Communication was free flowing on the floor – even to the referee, such as when Bainbridge was whistled for four hits.

Miller joked with the official on the ladder at the net, “I was hoping you wouldn’t notice.”

Leading the Spartans were Miller’s 21 kills and 20 digs, along with Bice who turned in 44 assists and 18 digs, in the Camas win. Schwarz-Smith had 10 kills; Stuart eight.

Nelson, Baggett and Braun all finished with digs in the double digits.

After posing for pictures, their third-place trophy in their laps, the Spartans stayed to watch White River put Blanchet on their heels in their first game.

Blanchet responded and easily won its first state title.

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