Mount Tahoma falls in return to district playoffs

// Bellarmine wins 4A title, Curtis state-bound

  • TOUGH DEFENSE. Mount Tahoma’s Rejie Wright (5) tries to tip a ball over the net as Prairie’s Kaylee Warren (left), Huong Nguyen (middle) and Jamie Ripley (right) go up to block (Photo by Rocky Ross)

  • The Thunderbirds’ Asalei Sokimi (6) tries to spike a ball as Jamie Ripley defends. (Photo by Rocky Ross)

Facing a defending state champ is a tall task for any squad. But for a squad reintroducing itself to the playoff scene for the first time in over two decades, Mount Tahoma managed to show some promising flashes against Prairie. The Thunderbirds couldn’t maintain momentum, however, falling 25-17, 25-19, 25-13 to the Falcons in their opener at the 3A Bi-District tournament on Nov. 8 at Auburn Mountainview High School.

The Thunderbirds, making their first trip to districts since 1989, fell in five sets to Shelton on Nov. 9 to be eliminated, but took pride in what they had accomplished.

“We’re pleased,” said Mount Tahoma head coach Terry Lynn Thayer. “It’s been a long time and we’re due. It’s our time now.”

Prairie controlled much of the first game, shooting out to a 23-12 lead on Jessica Ripley’s ace that dropped in the middle of the Thunderbirds’ defense. But Alanna Bates-Carector responded with a kill and Asalei Sokimi added two straight aces to spur a 5-0 run before the Falcons finally closed it out.

“They don’t give up,” Thayer said. “That’s the best part about these girls.”

The Thunderbirds fell behind 11-7 in the second game before launching an 8-3 run to take the lead, with Sokimi earning three kills and senior Jessica Evans adding two others during the stretch. But Prairie again responded with a 7-0 run to take a 23-16 lead, and put the game away after Sokimi’s ace had cut it to 23-19.

After falling behind 9-5 in the final game, Prairie went on a 20-4 run to close out the match, forcing the Thunderbirds into service errors and mis-hits.

Sokimi led Mount Tahoma with eight kills and added 20 digs, while Bates-Carector had six kills and a team-high 30 digs for the Thunderbirds. Aliyah Carector had a team-high 17 assists, Evans added eight assists and Sacha Ausage had 29 digs for Mount Tahoma.

The Thunderbirds fell in five sets to Shelton on Nov. 9 to be eliminated, as the Highclimbers won 19-25, 25-20, 25-23, 26-28, 15-12 in a back-and-forth affair. Sokimi finished with 18 kills and 34 digs, Carector had 23 assists and Bates-Carector had 11 kills and a team-high 37 digs against the Highclimbers.


Maintaining their top ranking in 4A and with eyes on a repeat state title, Bellarmine Prep swept through the field in the 4A Bi-District tournament – including a three-set victory in the championship over Kentwood – on Nov. 8-9 at Kentwood High School.

The Lions swept both Spanaway Lake and Curtis in their first two matches, and topped Emerald Ridge 25-20, 25-11, 20-25, 25-19 in the semifinals to advance to the finals. They topped Kentwood 25-15, 25-21, 25-17 to maintain their perfect season record. They will face Rogers of Puyallup in their state opener on Nov. 15 at 11:45 a.m. at Saint Martin’s University. Should they win they would play in the quarterfinals at 6:45 p.m.

After falling to Bellarmine Prep, Curtis topped Skyview in five sets and swept Rogers of Puyallup to claim a berth at the state tournament. The Vikings will begin against Eisenhower on Nov. 15 at 8 a.m. at Saint Martin’s University.


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