The Raymond Seagulls came up one set short of a berth in the state-championship game and eventually finished in fourth place of the 2B State Volleyball Tournament on Friday at the SunDome in Yakima.
Raymond (18-4 overall) opened Friday’s competition with a state semifinal game against No. 6 Walla Walla Academy.
The seventh-seeded Seagulls fell behind early, dropping the first two sets by scores of 25-19 and 25-16.
Raymond rallied to take the next two sets 25-23 and 25-19 to force a fifth and decisive set with a spot in the 2B title game on the line.
But the Seagulls comeback attempt fell short as Walla Walla took the fifth set 15-9, relegating Raymond to the third/fourth place game.
Kyra Gardner led the Seagulls with 35 kills, 25 digs and two aces.
Karsyn Freeman added 10 kills, 24 digs and a pair of aces with Sidney Swogger dishing out 32 assists to go along with six kills, an ace and 17 digs.
Izzy Silvernail had a double-double with 21 assists and 15 digs and was noted by Raymond head coach Bob Swogger as being one of the Seagulls most consistent servers in the match.
“I could not be any more proud of this team,” Swogger said after the heart-breaking loss. “I could not be any more proud of this team. They did an absolutely amazing job and showed a ton of heart, character and determination. They did an absolutely amazing job and showed a ton of heart, character and determination. … We threw everything we had into this game and came up a little short.”
Raymond then faced off against No. 5 Manson, which lost its semifinal to No. 1 La Conner in straight sets, in the state’s third/fourth place game Friday afternoon.
Raymond finished fourth in the state with a 25-17, 25-20 and 25-12 loss to Manson.
“In the Manson game, we had basically ran out of gas and were tired from our semi final,” Swogger said. “Manson had a much quicker loss in their semi final and appeared to be the fresher team.”
Gardner (13 kills), Freeman (7 kills), Sidney Swogger (17 assists, 2 kills), Grace Busenius (3 kills), Caton Swogger (2 aces, kill, block) and Koski (18 digs) led the way for Raymond in the loss.
Raymond’s stellar run to the final four over the two-day tournament brought the Seagulls its first volleyball trophy since the 1989 season, cementing them as one of the best Raymond volleyball teams in program history.
At the conclusion of his most successful season in his 11th year as Raymond head coach, Swogger talked about the character of his student-athletes that reached the final four and were one set away from competing for a state title.
“The type of young women they are should be more celebrated than their athletic achievements,” he said. “I am proud of them and see them all as bright spots in our community that will develop into tomorrow’s leaders.”
La Conner won the state title with a 25-15, 25-13 and 25-12 victory over Wall Walla Academy in the championship game, doing so in dominant fashion as La Conner did not drop a set in its four tournament games.