The Interlake Saints finished tied for 11th at the 3A volleyball state tournament in Yakima. This was the first time the Interlake volleyball program has been to a state tournament since they competed at the 2A state tournament in 2011.
The Saints lost their first-round match 3-0 (11-25, 18-25, 11-25) to the Capital Cougars on Nov. 22, sending them to the consolation bracket. Interlake head coach Eddie Guerrero said setter Katie Thomas did an amazing job of running their offense in their opening game and outside hitter Natalia Carruthers brought lots of energy with her spikes.
Later that day, the Saints swept the Kennewick Lions (25-17, 26-24, 25-18) for their first state tournament victory since 1999. Guerrero said middle blocker Sandy Seetharaman had a great game serving up aces for the Saints. With the win, the Saints moved on to a loser-out game with the winner going to the seventh/eighth-place game.
“It was so much fun and rewarding to see how happy our players were because of their first win at state,” Guerrero said.
The Saints’ season came to an end after a 3-0 (21-25, 21-25, 21-25) loss to the Central Kitsap Cougars on Nov. 23.
The Saints will graduate six seniors, Thomas, Carruthers, Haley Killeen, Camille Koepf, Mikaela Silva and Ally Smith. When Guerrero took the head coaching job at Interlake three years ago, those six seniors were sophomores. Guerrero knew that he had a special group from the beginning.
“I knew that with this group, we were going to accomplish big things in their senior year and that is exactly what happened,” Guerrero said.
For the returning players, the experience at state this year will make them even hungrier to get back next year.
“All those juniors, sophomores and freshmen know what it takes to make it to state and the work they will need to do in order to come back and be able to finish higher than 11th next year,” Guerrero said. “And for the players that were C-team and JV, they should be motivated to fill the shoes of our great senior class.”