Spikers play bridesmaids to Blanchet

(L-R) Alexa Seidl and Kelcey Dunaway jump up to block a shot by Bishop Blanchet at the Metro Tournament Saturday. - JESSE BEALS/Staff Photo
(L-R) Alexa Seidl and Kelcey Dunaway jump up to block a shot by Bishop Blanchet at the Metro Tournament Saturday.
— image credit: JESSE BEALS/Staff Photo

After outlasting Prep in five games, Bainbridge takes

second at Metro.

WEST SEATTLE – The Bainbridge High School volleyball team learned a hard lesson on Saturday: Bishop Blanchet is still the team to beat in the Metro League.

After outlasting Seattle Prep in an early semifinal game, the Spartans lost another classic match to the Braves by scores of 23-25, 25-13, 19-25, 25-22 and 12-15 to finish second in the Metro Tournament and earn the number two seed for the district tournament for the second straight year.

Bainbridge beat Blanchet twice in the regular season, but good things didn’t come in threes for the Spartans.

“We didn’t execute as well as we had hoped because we weren’t passing as well,” head coach Julie Miller said. “Plus, we had a five-game match (earlier) and they didn’t, so I think we were probably a little bit tired in the match as well.”

“I think both teams played really well,” outside hitter Hannah Stuart said. “I thought it was a really fun match but we could have pulled it off at the end. But it happens that way sometimes.”

The Spartans got off to a good start in the first game, building to a 9-4 lead. But Blanchet came back to tie it at nine on a couple of Bainbridge errors.

The Braves extended their lead to four, but that’s all they got as the Spartans kept with them most of the match. Blanchet took control when a delay of service error was called on Bainbridge, and won the first game when Sabrina Tan’s kill went long.

The second game went to Bainbridge as Stuart took control with her serve and several kills as Tan, Kelcey Dunaway and Marijke Schwarz-Smith all contributed.

Blanchet couldn’t keep their shots within the lines and made several errors as Bainbridge took match point on an Alexa Seidl kill.

“We’re a young team and have a lot of people that have never been in this pressure situation and I thought they did a great job,” Miller said.

In the third game Bainbridge took the lead but Blanchet kept pace as the teams traded the lead several times.

The Spartans battled ahead to a 17-14 advantage, but quickly lost both the lead and the game on kills from the Braves’ outside hitters Bridget Logan and Mia Papasedero.

With Bainbridge on the ropes in the fourth game, the Spartans gained the lead, lost it, and climbed even at 20 all, then traded the lead three more times before retaking it for good at 22-21 on a Blanchet illegal serve and four hits.

Tan scored the game point when Blanchet blocked her kill, but couldn’t put it back over.

Miller said the game was called tighter than usual by the refs.

“It was almost borderline too tight, but he had called us like that earlier (in the Prep game) so we knew,” she said. “All in all, I thought the refs did a good job. I thought they were consistent on both sides.”

In the fifth and deciding game, Bainbridge got off to a rough start, allowing Blanchet to take a crucial 7-1 lead.

The two sides traded points until the Spartans climbed back to one, catching a break when a kill by the Braves first determined to have gone off Allison Post’s arm was reversed.

Another call was reversed when Tan’s kill hit the net and hit a Brave instead of going out of bounds; the Braves protested and and were penalized with a yellow card.

When Stuart served after the calls, someone in the stands coughed loudly and her serve went long. The Spartans never got closer after that, as they lost match point when a Blanchet kill was blocked and Bainbridge felt it hit had the net, but it dropped just inside the line for the point.

Stuart felt there was some miscommunication on where the ball was.

“I know there was some confusion that somebody thought the other team was in the net,” she said. “(There was) just not enough communication, I guess, but it happens sometimes.”

Miller was upset with some of the “obnoxious” Blanchet fans, but also said the game just didn’t go their way that night.

“We gave ourselves a chance to win and that’s all you can ask for,” she said. “You give yourself a chance to win and you either do it or (you don’t).

“It’s one step in our journey. This didn’t go exactly as we wanted, but they can have this one. So, let’s go out, work hard at Districts and the object, the ultimate goal, is to get to State. You just keep taking those steps along the way.”

As the second seed in the 3A Sea-King District tournament, Bainbridge gets a pass to the quarterfinals where they will play the winner of the West Seattle-Newport game tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at Liberty High School.

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