Kamiakin Spiking Its Way Toward a State Title - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kamiakin Spiking Its Way Toward a State Title

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- The Kamiakin Braves Girls volleyball team is one of the teams competing for the 4A State title this weekend at the Toyota Center. The tournament runs Friday and Saturday.

Here's a quick look at what keeps the Braves going. The Kamiakin girls volleyball team practices like they play, hard.

Coach Mary Opitz says this year's team has "a lot of heart, a lot of desire, a lot of drive."

That heart pumped the Braves to an undefeated regular season record and a spot in this weekend's state tournament.

Opitz says, "The ultimate goal is to be a state champion."

Last year Kamiakin finished 6th in the state tournament but this year they are hoping the work they put in turns into state tournament success.

Senior Outside Hitter Marcy Hjellum says, "Our team kind of has a quiet confidence. It just stays positive when we play. "

Hjellum leads the Braves in kills and as a senior and man, can she hit a volleyball hard.

She says, "It's such a good feeling when you're up in the air and you know it's gonna hit the floor on the other side of the net."

Opitz says, "It's nice to have somebody who can put the ball awaylike that."

And the fire in Hjellum's spikes is seen in the team's approach to volleyball.

Senior Outside Hitter Elise Jepsen says, "We all have that aggressive spirt. It's how we win games."

On the wall in the Kamiakin Gym, the Braves have posted many goals for this weekend's tournament but a state title stands above them all.

Opitz says, "These girls have been playing volleyball since middle school, forever and ever, and I know that's probably something they really want to accomplish."

The Braves journey toward a state title starts Friday at the Toyota Center. A state volleyball title would be the first in Kamiakin history.

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