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Decatur volleyball rolls into districts
By CASEY OLSON
This year, the Decatur Gator volleyball team left no doubt.
The senior-laden Gators won all three of their matches at Friday and Saturdays South Puget Sound League Tournament at Auburn Riverside High School to earn the 19-team leagues fifth seed into Friday and Saturdays West Central/Southwest District Tournament.
Decatur will take on the Bellarmine Prep Lions at 3 p.m. Friday in the opening round at Kentwood High School in the 16-team, double-elimination tournament. Bellarmine finished up in third place in the Narrows League with an 11-3 record. The top-seven finishers advance to the Class 4A State Volleyball Tournament at the Everett Events Center Nov. 5-6.
All three of the Gators wins at the SPSL Tournament came against teams from the Kent School District. Decatur swept Kentlake (fifth place in North Division), who ended the Gators season a year ago at the league tourney, Friday afternoon and came back Saturday to down Kentwood (third in North) in five games and Kentridge (second in North) in three. Decatur finished fifth in the SPSL South.
Allison Iwasaki was the hitting star for Decatur during the SPSL Tournament. The senior pounded down a total of 45 kills during the three matches. Brittany Ashby also played solid for the Gators. The senior setter totaled 70 assists.
The biggest win of the tournament came against Kentlake in Fridays loser-out match. The Gators easily won the opening game, 25-15, before having to scratch out the final two games, both 26-24. Decatur was led by Iwasakis 14 kills and seven aces and Ashbys 22 assists. The win moved the Gators into Saturdays double-elimination round. The wins over Kentwood and Kentridge werent real big surprises. The Gators beat both teams during preseason play earlier this season.
The five-game victory over Kentwood was similar to their first meeting of the year, which also went five. Decatur won the opening game Friday, 28-26, before dropping the next two, 22-25, 21-25. But the Gators fought back to take the fourth game, 25-22, and the decisive fifth, 15-11, to earn the automatic berth into districts. Iwasaki tallied 18 kills and Ashby dished out 28 assists against Kentwood.
Decatur then had a relatively easy time with Kentridge in the fifth-sixth match, 25-20, 26-24, 25-18. Iwasaki had 13 kills, Ashby tallied 20 assists and Aleesha Camarao chipped in six aces.
Court No-shows Fridays West Central/Southwest District Tournament at Kentwood High School will mean three of the five girls nominated for Decaturs Homecoming Court wont be at the Gators Homecoming football game against cross-town rival Federal Way at Federal Way Memorial Stadium. Iwasaki, Ashby and fellow senior Alex Chraca will be busy trying to qualify for the Class 4A State Volleyball Tournament.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, email@example.com