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Dec. 3, 2023

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La Center earns first state volleyball trophy since 1995

Wildcats place eighth at 1A tournament

The Columbian
Published:
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La Center's Grace Clinton (10) yells in celebration as the Wildcats score against Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls in the consolation bracket of the 1A state volleyball tournament in Yakima on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022.
La Center's Grace Clinton (10) yells in celebration as the Wildcats score against Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls in the consolation bracket of the 1A state volleyball tournament in Yakima on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. (Eric Trent for The Columbian) (Eric Trent for The Columbian) Photo Gallery

For the first time since 1995, the La Center volleyball team is bringing back a trophy from the state tournament.

The Wildcats placed eighth in the 1A state tournament on Saturday at the Yakima SunDome.

They beat Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls in five sets to ensure the trophy, but then lost 3-0 to Cedar Park Christian in the seventh-place match.

“Not the ending we hoped for, but we got a trophy and broke the drought,” La Center coach Cymany O’Brien said. “Really proud of how we bounced back from that match yesterday. We just didn’t have the gas to finish.”

La Center also played eight sets on Friday, losing their opener to Eastside Prep 3-2 and then staying alive with a 3-0 win over Connell.

Saturday had a similar start but different result.

The Wildcats topped Lakeside by scores of 22-25, 25-21, 23-25, 26-24, 15-12.

Ella Schoene had 24 kills and 12 digs, Billie Ross had 17 kills, Grace Clinton had 21 assists, Bailey España had 17 assists, and Mia Achziger had 14 digs.

“There was a lot of grit and determination this match,” O’Brien said. “Really proud of how the girls made adjustments and played to win.”

Cedar Park Christian won the seventh-place trophy with a 25-15, 25-18, 25-22 victory over La Center.

Schoene had 10 kills for the Wildcats, and Achziger had 13 digs.

“All in all a great season,” O’Brien said as La Center finishes 21-3.

Fellow Trico League team Castle Rock placed sixth at state. The Rockets (18-5) beat Eastside Prep 3-2 to clinch a trophy, but lost 3-1 to Nooksack Valley in the placing match.

4A bi-district — Camas fell to Puyallup in the tournament semifinal match 3-0, and finished fourth after a 3-1 loss to Curtis.

Skyview was eliminated by Kennedy Catholic 3-0.

3A bi-district — Prairie is going to state as the fourth-place team from bi-district after a pair of losses on Saturday in Olympia.

The Falcons, who clinched their state berth on Friday, lost in the bi-district semifinal 3-0 to Peninsula, and then was beat by North Thurston 3-0 in the third-place match.

Kelso clinched a state berth on Saturday with a pair of 3-0 loser-out victories over Lakes and Spanaway Lake.

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