DAYTON -- After eight Southeast 2B District volleyball matches here on Thursday, six teams remain in contention for two tickets to the state tournament next week.
The teams still in the hunt -- DeSales, Dayton, Waitsburg-Prescott, Pomeroy, Liberty Christian and Tekoa-Oakesdale -- resume play again here on Saturday.
Saturday's play begins with Dayton meeting DeSales and Liberty Christian taking on Waitsburg-Prescott in a pair of 10 a.m. loser-out matches. Those two winners meet in another loser-out affair at 1 p.m., with Pomeroy battling Tekoa-Oakesdale for the championship and the district's top seed to the state tournament at the same time.
The final match of the day at 4 p.m. sends the loser of the championship game against the survivor of the loser-out bracket to decide the district's second state berth.
In Thursday's first-round matches, Liberty Christian defeated Garfield-Palouse 25-20, 25-20, 25-11; Pomeroy defeated DeSales 25-23, 24-26, 25-15, 25-21; Tekoa-Oakesdale defeated Waitsburg-Prescott 25-15, 25-21, 25-19 and Dayton defeated Asotin 25-20, 25-20, 25-23.
The tournament semifinals saw Pomeroy defeat Liberty Christian 25-14, 25-12, 26-28, 25-21, and Tekoa-Oakesdale dispatch the host Bulldogs 17-25, 25-20, 25-12, 25-21.
And in the tournament's first two loser-out games, DeSales stayed alive with a 25-17, 25-10, 25-12 victory over Gar-Pal and Waitsburg-Prescott advanced to Saturday's play with a 22-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-20 victory over Asotin.
In Dayton's victory over Asotin, Mieke Messelink had 11 digs and eight kills; Kayla Dedloff had eight digs and nine kills; Nicole Lockard had 12 digs and 12 assists; Kayla Turner had 15 assists; and McKayla Bickelhaupt had eight digs.
In the Bulldogs' loss to Tekoa-Oakesdale Bickelhaupt had 13-for-13 serving and seven digs; Dedloff had four aces, eight kills and 12 digs; Nicole Lambert had 10-for-10 serving and 11 digs; Turner had 15 assists and nine kills; and Masselink had 15 kills and 10 digs.
In Waitsburg-Prescott's loss to T-O, Megan Withers had seven kills, Genesis Pearson had six kills, Angelina Paniagua has 11 digs and Amanda Weis had 25 assists.
In W-P's victory against Asotin, Pearson had 10 kills, Kyla Harris had seven kills, Withers had 14 digs, Paniagua had 11 digs and Weis had 19 assists.
In DeSales' loss to Pomeroy, Caitlin Duncan had 12 kills and 16 blocks, Stephanie Ferrel had four kills, Abby Larreau had three kills and 16 blocks, Amanda Warnick had three kills and 12 assists, Chantel Blanc had eight assists and Claire Elmenhurst had three kills and two blocks.
In the Irish win over Gar-Pal, Duncan had six kills, Ferrel had six kills, Larreau had eight kills and Blanc had 13 assists.
"Our match against Pomeroy was close all the way," DeSales coach Lori Blanc said. "We should have won game four, to get to game five, but we made too many silly errors.
"We still played a good match," Blanc continued. "We were intense and focused. We came ready to play.
"And against Gar-Pal, we knew we had to get through that one in order to play on Saturday, and we did," She said. "Now we look forward to Saturday We'll prepare today for a long day. We'll show up and be ready to play. I hope we have the legs for it."
Jesse Buhler of Waitsburg-Prescott also expects a long day on Saturday in pursuit of the tickets to state.
"We played a good match against Tekoa-Oakesdale, but we lost," she said. "We shut down their middle, which we wanted to do, but we didn't answer on offense
"A lot of it was nerves, I think," she added. "In our second match we played better on offense and defense, and we had a good time.
"It looks pretty good on Saturday, but that losers' bracket could be tough," she said. "We play Liberty Christian right off the bat. And Dayton is playing really well. They could be tough.
"But everyone has been up and down," she added. "Who ever show up ready to play could take it."
Dayton coach Shannon Turner certainly agrees
"It's going to be tough for anyone to get that No. 2 spot," Turner said. "You have to win three matches, and you are going to state." she said.
"Now we play DeSales for the third time. We've beaten them both times in the regular season. I feel like if we go in and are focused and ready to play, we will beat them again."
Turner was pleased with her team's play Thursday for the most part.
"I think we played very well," she said. "I was pleased, but we fell apart in third game against T-O. We had at least four whistles go against us, and that let the momentum go against us.
"The first game against T-O, it was one of their outstanding games, if they play like that there is no one I have seen this year who could beat them," Turner said. "T-O has the best hitter by far in the district (Desiree Chappell). She is tall and plays the net very, very well. She will be playing college somewhere."