This was, without a doubt, Morgan Schauble’s best Kamiakin volleyball team. To date, at least.
The Braves went 1-2 in last weekend’s WIAA Class 4A state volleyball tournament.
And while Schauble’s team failed to earn a trophy — they needed one more win to do that — it still goes down to her best squad since she took over in 2015 for Mary Opitz.
The Braves finished with a 24-3 record.
“(The girls’) only losses were to the No. 1 (Wenatchee), 2 (North Creek) and 5th team (Puyallup) in the state,” said Schauble on Sunday afternoon in a phone conversation. “This was a magical team. They played like family out there. And this group has definitely taken that attitude on the court and off the court.”
The Braves won their first-round match on Friday, beating Eastlake 3-1 (25-21, 31-29, 25-27, 25-14).
Peyton Arland led the way for the Braves with 13 kills, 17 digs, 2 aces and 2 blocks; while Yazmynn Cook had 2 aces and 26 digs.
Julie Whitley also was outstanding, with 13 kills, 6 digs, 5 blocks and 3 aces; and Rylie Dolven added 29 assists, 6 digs, 5 kills and an ace.
Bailey Vladimiroff contributed 13 digs and a kill, while Keyala Krumland added 6 kills and 3 digs.
The win sent Kamiakin into the quarterfinals on Friday night against North Creek. But the Bothell school beat the Braves 3-0 (25-21, 29-27, 25-22).
Dolven led the Kamiakin effort with 29 assists, 9 digs, 2 kills, and a block and an ace. Arland added 10 kills, 7 digs and 3 blocks.
Whitley had 9 kills, 4 digs, 2 aces and a block.
That loss meant the Braves couldn’t win the state 4A title. But the Braves still could play for a trophy. Kamiakin moved into a Saturday morning, loser-out contest against Puyallup that started at 8 a.m.
The Vikings then beat the Braves 3-0 (25-13, 25-15, 25-9) to end their season.
“That Puyallup team is solid,” said Schauble.
Schauble told her players to not let that final loss ruin their season.
“I think we’ve got a special group of players,” she added. “They were MCC champs, District 8 champs, and state academic champions.”
In Dolven’s final game, she had 2 kills, 20 assists and 7 digs. Arland was also ending her prep career, as was Whitley. Arland had 7 kills and 11 digs, while Whitley added 6 kills, 3 blocks and 4 digs.
All three seniors are headed to post-prep volleyball play: Arland has committed to Bushnell University in western Oregon; Whitley is committed to Eastern Oregon University.
Meanwhile, Dolven is headed to play at North Idaho College. The Coeur d’Alene school is moving its athletic programs out of the Northwest Athletic Conference into the National Junior College Athletic Association.
What that means is NIC teams will have the chance to play for national title next year.
▪ Prosser’s Taylor Munoz was named the 2A Central Washington Athletic Conference girls volleyball Coach of the Year recently.
Munoz had one player, junior Lay’lee Dixon, named to the CWAC’s first team.
Grandview senior Sienna Black and Othello senior Kalilynn Gomez were also named to the CWAC first team.
Ephrata senior Addison Mills was named CWAC Player of the Year, while her teammate, junior Auddy Gray, was named CWAC Defensive Player of the Year.
Sophomore Emma Almquist is off to a good start this fall with the St. Katherine’s University women’s golf team.
Almquist, a Richland High graduate, fired a 6-over-par, two-round total of 150 (75-75) to place 10th out of 98 individuals at the Wartburg Fall Invite in Waverly, Iowa, on Sept. 9-10. Almquist was playing for St. Katherine’s B team at the time.
On Sept. 23-24 in Woodbury, Minn., at the St. Kate’s Fall Invite, Almquist once again fired a 6-over-par, two-round total of 150 (74-76). That placed her tied for 6th out of 71 competitors.
Warden senior Lauryn Madsen signed a letter of intent this past week to play women’s basketball next year at the University of California Irvine.
Madsen, a 5-11 guard, was the 2B Eastern Washington Athletic Conference East Player of the Year last season.
As a sophomore, she helped lead the Cougars to a 2B state championship. Last season, as a junior, she and her Warden teammates placed third at state.“I couldn’t be more excited to have Lauryn as part of our Anteater family,” said UC Irvine head coach Tamara Inoue. “She comes from a championship program and knows how to win. Her competitiveness and ability to hit big shots will make an immediate impact.”
Warden opens the season at home against Cashmere, at 6 p.m., Nov. 28.
Whitworth continues to win.
The Pirates blew past Chapman University 42-28 last Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.
In that game, Kamiakin grad Luis Salgado scored twice, on a 5-yard TD reception and a 10-yard run.
Salgado, a sophomore, rushed 13 times for 99 yards in the victory. He also caught 6 passes for 32 more yards.
Salgado leads Whitworth in rushing with 704 yards this season. He has also caught 28 passes for 239 yards.
Teammate and safety Atticus Templeton, a grad student who played at Kennewick High, helped the defensive unit with 7 tackles.
Templeton is a team captain (along with wide receiver Dylan Ashbeck of Walla Walla), and he has 44 tackles and an interception this season.
Teammate JT Munoz (Chiawana) starts on the defensive line. He has 35 tackles (11 for loss), as well as 6 quarterback sacks and three forced fumbles.
The Pirates are now 10-0. They won the Northwest Conference title with a 7-0 record.
They advance to the second round of the playoffs, and they’ll visit Wartburg in Waverly, Iowa. Kickoff is set for 10 a.m. Pacific on Saturday, Nov. 25.
Jeff Morrow is former sports editor for the Tri-City Herald.