State titles typically don’t come around that often for schools in North Central Washington, especially in 1A volleyball, where private schools have reigned for much of the last seven years.
Since 2014, 10 of the last 14 teams in the state title game were private.
But the Chelan Goats accomplished something this past weekend that only three other schools — Colfax, Kings, Lynden Christian— have done in the last two decades. Repeat as 1A state champions. The team dominated play at the state tourney in Yakima, adding to the school's trophy case in convincing fashion.
One could argue had there been a state championship up for grabs in 2020, the Goats would have likely captured it as well, considering they finished 12-0 in the spring and trounced everyone they faced.
Remarkably, losing Katie Rainville, Elly Collins, AJ Gueller and longtime coach Jenifer Rainville proved to be a minor impediment for the Goats this season. Taking away their one loss to West Valley in the season opener and their COVID-19 forfeit to Cashmere, the Goats dropped only five sets all season and won their last 17 games. They swept Wenatchee — a team pushing for a 4A state title in Yakima this weekend — and swept all four matches at state, claiming the title with a (25-12, 25-23, 25-21) win over Lynden Christian Saturday night.
The Goats flat-out dominated this season and should be recognized as one of the best teams in the state. What they’ve been able to do over the last three years is incredible, and it shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Chelan had a fairly young team this year. And even though they’ll be losing their heart and soul in back-row defensive specialist Morgyn Harrison, the Goats will have a good chance at hanging another banner in 2022.
First-year head coach Abbigail Phelps picked up right where Rainville left off. The program is in good hands.
Manson finishes third
Just a few miles up the road, the Manson Trojans also brought back some hardware after sweeping Raymond (25-17, 25-20, 25-12) last Friday to finish third at the 2B state tournament in the SunDome.
The Trojans had a terrific season, losing just once during the regular season to Chelan and dropping only eight sets all season.
Manson cruised through its opening match at state against Tri-Cities Prep but faced a stiff challenge in the quarterfinals against Goldendale. Both teams split the first four sets but Manson took control in the fifth, winning decidedly 15-7 to earn a spot in the semifinals.
Unfortunately, the Trojans met the eventual state champions — No. 1 seeded La Conner — and got swept (25-10, 25-18, 25-17). Manson was able to refocus in the afternoon, however, and claim third, earning the second-highest finish at state for the school in program history — the Trojans finished second in 2007.
Congratulations to both Chelan and Manson on a fantastic couple of months!
Now it’s your turn Wenatchee.