After going 0-2 at last year’s Class 3A state volleyball tournament, the Meadowdale Mavericks were hoping their return to the state tourney this season would bring them something better to savor. But unfortunately the Mavericks will be leaving Yakima again this year with a bitter taste in their mouths.
Meadowdale, the No. 14 seed in this year’s event, fell to the No. 19-seeded Peninsula Seahawks 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-20) in a tournament elimination contest Friday morning at the Yakima SunDome.
Mavericks coach Bart Foley expressed mixed emotions after the consequences of the loss, and his team’s early elimination from the state tourney.
“I thought that this was a great accomplishment for our team to represent WesCo (League) and come over here,” he said. “I wanted to get a little further (in the tournament); I was kinda hoping for another rematch against my daughter (Stella Foley) at Shorewood.”
Peninsula showed no sympathy towards the hopes of a Meadowdale team that was looking to get its first win at a state tournament since 2013. The Seahawks were in control of the loser-out contest from the first serve, yielding the lead to the Mavericks only a couple times in the first and third sets.
“We ran into an opponent that was surprisingly better in reality than what I saw on film,” Foley said. “They were in system a lot and were able to kill a lot of balls early which sort of fueled their confidence, I thought.”
Peninsula entered Friday’s match against Meadowdale with eight losses, but seven were to teams that earned tickets to Yakima for state-tournament play. The Seahawks are also checkered with players that played on the team that finished fifth at state last year.
While Peninsula represented a formidable foe, Foley also noted that his squad wasn’t at its best on Friday.
“We had a few too many unforced errors,” Foley said. “We just could not get in a rhythm. We were way off the net a lot. We got blocked more times than I remember us getting blocked. But a lot of that goes to them — credit to the Seahawks for playing a really good game.”
“If you do want to have success here you have to be playing your best,” Foley added.
Meadowdale ends the season with an impressive overall record of 14-7. Foley called his five seniors — Sofia Brockmeyer, Laiken Thoesen, Mia Johns, Lataya Mitchell and Ashley Matson — “a good group” and “very important” for the success of the team’s overall success.
While there was plenty of disappointment cloaking Friday’s loss, Foley does hope that two straight berths to the state tournament will help build a program that earns trips to Yakima on a yearly basis.
“After a long absence from this kind of success with trips to the state tournament, two straight years, (this) begins to develop a culture of expectation of ‘this is what we do,’” Folly said. “And we’re not just happy to get here; we need to get over here and do some work.”
To view the entire 2023 3A state volleyball tournament bracket, visit www.wpanetwork.com/m2/tourn.php?act=vt&tid=4089.
— Story and photos by Doug Petrowski
Peninsula vs. Meadowdale, Nov. 17, Class 3A state volleyball tournament loser-out match at Yakima SunDome
Peninsula 3, Meadowdale 0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-20)
Records: Meadowdale 14-7 overall; Peninsula 14-8 overall