Nov. 9—A program with a rich tradition of success, Pullman volleyball might have seemed to be facing a down year as it ran a losing record through the opening month of this fall season.
The Greyhounds would peak at just the right time, however, successfully defending their district title in a dominant run last weekend. Pullman (17-9-1) now heads into the Washington Class 2A state tournament this Friday through Saturday in the Yakima Valley SunDome holding the eighth seed among the 16-team field.
The Hounds take on No. 9 Enumclaw in their opener at 2:30 p.m. on Friday.
A return to form
Having compiled a brilliant 42-2 combined record through its past four regular seasons of 2A Greater Spokane League competition, Pullman was comparatively unimpressive in this year's league run, going 7-3 for third place behind Shadle Park and West Valley.
Pullman went 3-4 in its first seven overall matches this September, including a loss in its league opener against Shadle Park. The Hounds began to hit their stride midway through the season, and held a 14-9-1 mark by the start of Districts at Rogers High School last week.
It was there that the team truly shined, pulling back-to-back upsets over the top two seeds and dismissing Shadle Park in straight sets in the title match to avenge two regular-season defeats.
The Greyhounds have been led all season by a trio of seniors: outside hitter Sophie Armstrong, setter Gabriella Oliver and libero Lily McNannay. Each of them has made regular double-digit additions to the Greyhounds' stat sheets in her area of specialty — kills, assists and digs, respectively.
All three were part of the Pullman roster that took fourth place at last year's state tournament.
Sophomore Jorja McGuire has also emerged as an offensive standout for the team, as exemplified by her 16-kill performance in the district title match against the Highlanders.
A familiar foe, and an imposing one
Pullman and Enumclaw (11-4) have already met once this season — that coming in a best-of-three-set tournament match on Oct. 15 which Pullman won in two. Should the Greyhounds once again handle the Hornets, they stand to potentially face top seed and defending champions Columbia River (25-0) in the quarterfinals at 8 p.m.