CK forced to battle back from uncharted territory

Central Kitsap’s Tara Patton tries to slam a kill through a pair of Olympia defenders in Thursday’s 3-0 loss to the Bears in the first round of the Narrows League Volleyball Tournament. - Photo by Aaron Managhan
Central Kitsap’s Tara Patton tries to slam a kill through a pair of Olympia defenders in Thursday’s 3-0 loss to the Bears in the first round of the Narrows League Volleyball Tournament.
— image credit: Photo by Aaron Managhan

Central Kitsap hasn’t been in this boat for some time, but that doesn’t mean they can’t survive stormy waters.

Following the Cougars’ 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-23) loss to Olympia Thursday in the opening round of the Narrows League tournament at Gig Harbor High School, CK (11-3, 7-3 to end regular-season play) is in the consolation bracket, hoping to advance to districts. That road will begin at 9:30 a.m. today when CK battles South Kitsap (4-9, 3-7) in a loser-out game at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.

But that road also is one CK hasn’t had to travel for some time.

“So we’re in a position we haven’t been in in a few years, which is a loser-out game before we get to districts,” CK coach Gordy Bushaw said. “We’ll see.”

Central Kitsap actually topped the Bears (10-3, 7-3) in regular-season play on Oct. 17 3-1 (25-23, 17-25, 25-22, 25-20) on the road. But Bushaw said the team simply couldn’t pass, stopping CK’s offense before it could ever get rolling. Combined with Oly’s passing, that made for a deadly combination for the Cougs.

“Olympia did a good job of picking on our wing passes,” Bushaw said.

After Olympia took the first game big, CK battled back in the second to a 17-17 tie. But a series of CK errors allowed the Bears to finish on an 8-0 run.

“The second game, the difference was the string of serves in a row that beat us,” Bushaw said. “That changed the whole game.”

But again, CK refused to give up.

After Oly jumped out 9-4 in the second game, CK used tips, blocks and Oly errors to tie things back up at 11 a piece. The teams exchanged leads the rest of the way, knotting it up again at 23-23. But Oly scored the last two, one on a kill and the other on a kill through the hands of CK libero Reese Dever.

While the loss stung, Bushaw said the team did do some things well.

“One thing we did a lot better was pick up their tips on defense,” Bushaw said of the move that burned them the first time the teams met. “That was good.”

Tara Patton led CK with 13 kills, while Angie Spieker set 22 assists. She also contributed 18 digs, while Dever led CK with 22 digs.

And while CK isn’t used to being in this situation so early in the postseason, Bushaw said his team has responded well to loser-out games in the past.

“That’s my hope,” he said. “Other teams we’ve had have seemed to respond pretty well. They all seem to agree the key is to have a great practice (Friday), get in sync again.”

That turnaround will start with the basics.

“I think the key on Saturday, that first match, is passing and serving,” he said. “Well, that’s the key to volleyball.”


The Olympic volleyball team locked up the 3A Olympic League title by beating Peninsula on Tuesday 3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 25-14, 25-1) on the road.

The Trojans (7-4, 5-1) got 20 kills out of Megan Rainey in the win. Terrin Day logged nine kills and added four blocks while Amy Stone led Oly with 25 assists.

The win not only gave Oly the 3A league crown, but also advances the Trojans to the 3A West Central District III tournament as the league’s No. 1 seed.

The tournament begins on Friday, Nov. 2 at Auburn Mountainview High School.

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