Sports

M-P falls short of Wesco title — Tomahawks to play Edmonds-Woodway in districts

MARYSVILLE — Another year and another near-conference championship.

The Monroe Bearcats kept the Tomahawks guessing Oct. 28 with a strong frontline attack that killed all over the court in a 3-1 victory that determined the 2009 Wesco North champion.

"I was making adjustments the whole time," said Marysville-Pilchuck coach Shelly Johnson.

M-P and Monroe each entered the contest undefeated, 7-0, in conference play with one match remaining. On senior night, the Tomahawks were barraged by the Bearcats' hitting, which seemed to find holes throughout the M-P defense early on.

"I had to go with a bigger middle blocker to combat (Megan Birch), but it was pretty hard," Johnson said.

Birch was able to put the ball anywhere she wanted in the first two games, recording 14 of her 24 kills. Monroe won the first game 25-17.

The second game saw what looked like an M-P response, although its culmination was not realized as the Bearcats went on an 11-2 run to make the score 22-20 and finished it out 25-22.

The Tomahawks saw the third game through, gaining a 25-20 win behind a more solid blocking scheme and a new libero, Tiva Akau.

"I think that we were able to slow them down and play later on," Johnson said. "When we decided to stop going through the motions and play to win, though, it was too late."

Monroe sealed the win with a 25-20 victory in another closely contested game. A few unforced mistakes made the difference for Marysville, which did not seem to take control at anytime during the match.

"It was frustrating because we really didn't dominate at any point like I know that we are capable of," Johnson said.

Monroe has taken the conference title from the Tomahawks now four years running, and with a 3-2 loss by just a handful of points earlier this season, hopes were high on reversing the trend.

"It isn't disappointing because it's Monroe, it's because it was for the championship," Johnson said.

Mikayla Larosa led all Tomahawks with 19 kills while Alisha Oden had 16 digs and Riley Taitingfong recorded 34 assists.

Marysville-Pilchuck (9-4, 7-1 Wesco) plays host to the district tournament Nov. 4, and opens play against Edmonds-Woodway (11-3, 7-2), which swept the Tomahawks earlier this season.

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