Volleyball: Kentwood stunned by Puyallup, braces for today’s state opener

Number three is not a magic number for the Kentwood High School volleyball team this season.

Number three is not a magic number for the Kentwood High School volleyball team this season.

This past Saturday in Silverdale, the second-ranked Conquerors failed to capture their third straight district title, losing to Puyallup 3-1 in the semifinals at the Class 4A West Central District tournament.

It was Kentwood’s second loss of the season.

Kentwood (27-2) struggled in the first game, losing 25-20, and not looking like the Conqueror squad that was perfect in the South Puget Sound League North division this season.

Although the team rebounded in the second game, winning 25-21, the Conks lost their final two games, 25-18 and 27-25.

“Our passing wasn’t there in the beginning and it hung with us though the whole match,” senior Jessie Genger said. “We just couldn’t seem to get out of the funk that we were in.”

Kentwood came into the match already guaranteed a spot in the state, which begins today at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.

According to Genger, however, that didn’t cause the team to let up in the district tourney.

“I don’t think that we thought that since we already had our ticket to state that we let up at all,” she said. “We’re always looking to play against good competition and we wanted to be in that final match on Saturday. We just started off rough and let that hang with us.”

Kentwood rebounded from the loss with a four-game victory over Rogers, helping the Conquerors seal the district’s third seed to the state tournament. Kentwood opens state today at 9 a.m. against Issaquah.

• ALSO: Despite eliminating Bethel in its opening match (18-25, 25-22, 17-25, 25-16, 15-10), Kentlake was unable to stave off elimination itself. The Falcons, taking aim at a third-straight state berth, fell a match short, losing to Bellarmine Prep in four games 25-23, 22-25, 30-28 and 25-19.