Sports Roundup - Spikers down Blanchet, earn trip to state/Kickers earn win in shootout/Swimmers set for state meet

L-R: Daron Vandeleur, Marijke Schwarz-Smith, Delsa Togila and Molly Bonham celebrate a point at the Metro League tournament final on Nov. 2. Bainbridge swept Rainier Beach and Bishop Blanchet on Saturday to earn their fourth straight trip to the State tournament. - JESSE BEALS/Staff Photo
L-R: Daron Vandeleur, Marijke Schwarz-Smith, Delsa Togila and Molly Bonham celebrate a point at the Metro League tournament final on Nov. 2. Bainbridge swept Rainier Beach and Bishop Blanchet on Saturday to earn their fourth straight trip to the State tournament.
— image credit: JESSE BEALS/Staff Photo

The Spartans sweep two teams to punch their ticket to the tournament in Everett, while the swim team marches to Federal Way and the soccer team ends their season on a good note.

SEATTLE - Bainbridge volleyball head coach Julie Miller pointed to the bottom of the score sheet where assistant coach Shaine Schramling had written "The Rematch."

It was an appropriate way to title the latest match between the Spartans and the Bishop Blanchet Braves as of late, as both teams have been involved in epic, knock-down, drag-out fights that mean so much more than just another number in the win column when it's over. On Saturday, Bainbridge added another chapter in a 25-21, 25-15, 25-15 sweep of Blanchet at Bishop Blanchet High in a 3A Sea-King District 2 consolation match to earn their fourth straight trip to state and eliminate the Metro League and last year's state champs.

The Spartans also swept Rainier Beach by the scores of 25-22, 25-17 and 27-25 - coming back from a 21-13 deficit - in the early consolation game.

Deciding not to play the last consolation game to determine the seeding, Bainbridge and Newport flipped a coin instead. They lost and will be the fourth seed to the tournament.

Miller said her team had Blanchet on their calendar - if they were to ever run into them again.

"We were looking forward to playing them because I think we felt like we let one get away (the last time we played Blanchet)," she said. "After we lost to Newport, we talked and sorted things out. We decided to go all out, have some fun and just play. It worked out well."

A fired up Spartans squad took a 11-2 lead in the first game on the strength of Sabrina Tan's serve - she had four aces - and kills from Kelcey Dunaway and Hannah Stuart.

Blanchet recovered, and went on an 8-2 run to close it to 13-10. The Spartans kept the lead at three until the Braves got on another run to close the gap to 22-21. But Dunaway scored on a crucial kill, and the Spartans won when a Blanchet kill went long.

"I've been there before where you have to come through the losers bracket to get here," Miller said. "You're coming off a win and they're coming off a loss, and it's really hard because that's a semifinal loss. So you've just lost your chance for the title, and you've got to regroup."

Bainbridge took a solid lead in the second game as well and kept Blanchet from getting a consistent offense going. Marijke Schwarz-Smith and Lindsey Bratonia contributed key kills, with Bratonia scoring the game winning kill.

With Blanchet's season on the line, they came out and played with a purpose, never letting Bainbridge get ahead by more than two.

After nine ties, Dunaway had two big blocks and a kill off a long rally that put the Spartans ahead for good.

Miller said a changed rotation due to the absence of Tan - she was taking her SATs earlier that day - made it easier for her big hitters to get shots.

She was also pleased with how they responded after the loss to the Knights.

"Losing to Newport, in the way that we lost, was sort of the rock bottom," she said. "We had to regroup and I think people got to air what they were thinking, and then we talked about the solutions and how to deal with the pressure of the match, and I think that helped the younger kids.

"With Sabrina gone and those kids having to step up and win that match first, it was a really good thing. Everyone contributed and everyone had fun and really worked hard and it just carried over to this match."

Bainbridge will play at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Everett Events Center against White River, the team they lost to in last years' semifinal match.

Kickers earn win in shootout

It came down to another shootout, but this time the Bainbridge girls soccer team were on the winning end.

The Spartans outscored the Eastside Catholic Crusaders 6-5 to win and finish third in the Metro League tournament.

“We finished out happy and had a great time,” said head coach Mark Grindrod. “There was no pressure. We had 22 kids on the roster, and we played them all. We started all the seniors and ended with all the seniors.”

But as in previous games, Bainbridge could not score during regulation.

In the shootout, Alana MacWhorter, Lizzie Seligmann, Kelsey Devereaux, Callie Tift and Heather Peck scored goals while Jackie Danzig did her part to keep the Crusaders out of the box.

Despite falling short of their season goals, Grindrod is still happy with how his team responded to their midseason slump.

“It was a fun team,” he said. “We worked hard and dominated a lot of games.”

He will have some work to do next year, as he loses eight seniors including his starting goalies Danzig and Tift, along with one of his top scorers in Picha and most of his starting defense in MacWhorter, Seligmann and Deveraux.

“I look forward to a fun season next year,” he said as he expects many JV players to make their mark, including Alex Mynatt. “I don’t look forward to tryouts, because there will be some hard decisions to make.”

The win was the third one in three games against Eastside Catholic. Bainbridge allowed only one goal in their last seven games.

The Spartans finished the season at 9-6-4.

-John Becerra, Jr.

Swimmers set for state meet

SEATTLE – It’s not a district title, but Bainbridge swim coach Greg Colby is happy to be back at State.

“We’ll take second,” he said.

The Spartans were in the lead early on, but were overcome by the eventual district champion Holy Names at the 3A Sea-King District 2 meet at Hec Ed Pool on the UW campus.

With a rabid fan section rooting them on, the Spartans took silver with 238 team points. The Cougars were first with 261, while Mercer Island and Bellevue were third and fourth, respectively.

Anne Scott repeated as district champion in the 50 and 100 freestyle with times of 23.83 and 52.34, improving on her already fast times in those events.

“(Holy Names’) Lauren Hall pushed her in the 100 a little bit,” Colby said. “Anne is an amazing talent. She’s going to have some tougher competition next week.”

Scott was also on the 200 medley relay along with Isabel Williams, Tessa Griffin and April Isa that finished second with a time of 1:55.17. She, along with India Wade, Keziah Beall and Williams won the 400 free relay with a blazing time of 3:40.07 in one of the closest races of the night.

“Five minutes before the race, I do (get nervous),” Scott said. “But behind the block, everything gets (quiet). I don’t remember what I see. I just zone out.”

Julie Pendleton and Kristine Valdez made some noise in the consolation swims, as both went 1-2 in the 200 individual medley.

Pendleton was third in the 100 breastroke while Valdez finished second in the 100 backstroke.

“Julie and Kristine stepped it up in the IM,” Colby said. “That really got us going as a team. In the 50, April Isa sparked some more momentum for us, and we had it going for us for a while there.”

Isa won the 50 free consolation final with a time of 25.87. She also won the 100 free consolation final and was fourth in the 500 free.

Griffin placed third in the 50 free final and won the 100 yard consolation final.

Williams was second in the 100 butterfly consolation final and fourth in the 100 backstroke final. Isa, Wade, Beall and Williams also placed second in the 200 free relay by a second to Mercer Island.

Colby said the team swam inspired on Friday night, a far cry from their swims in the prelims the previous night.

“We were flat,” he said. “We had a 35 point defecit going in, and there was no way we were gonna (make it up) unless someone false started or something terrible happened, which we don’t want to wish on anybody.”

He also felt the team might not have been prepared for the pressure of swimming in a district meet, as many of his swimmers are freshman or in their first year at districts.

He also acknowledged the time change may have been a factor, as they normally swim in the afternoon, but had to get used to swimming at night.

In the diving competition, Stephanie Whalen and Shelby Mann qualified for State. Whalen was second to Issaquah’s Jessie Snowden, who set a new district record with 453.60 points.

Whalen scored 395.60, while Mann placed 11th with a score of 282.65, just getting over the 280 qualifying score.

“Having her make State is a huge accomplishment this year,” said dive coach Chris Miller. “She’s working really hard and is having a good year.”

As for Stephanie?

“I think she’s the best diver in the state and the judges haven’t figured it out,” he said. “She’s got the highest DD (degree of difficulty). She’s got a rise on breaking the 11-dive record at State.”

Colby was named the coach of the year at the meet.

The 3A state meet will be held at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. Prelims will be held on Friday, while the finals will be on Saturday.

-John Becerra, Jr.

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