Saturday’s Prep Volleyball: Shelton Wins 34th-Annual Centerville Classic

Shelton was a repeat winner on Saturday, taking the trophy as champions of the 34th-annual Centerville Classic volleyball tournament at Centralia High School.

The Highclimbers went 5-1 in pool play, then ran through the bracket and beat Washougal 25-19, 25-23 in the finals.

The host Tigers, meanwhile, went 6-0 in pool play, outscoring their opponents 150-76 while serving 94.2 percent with 18 aces in two-set wins against Forks, Aberdeen and Toledo.

“We looked great during pool play and were able to focus on controlling our serving and offense,” Tiger coach Neil Sharp said. “Joelle Mettler did a great job setting up our hitters and they were putting balls away all over the court. It was fun to watch.”

In bracket play, Centralia beat Rochester, 25-11, 25-13, before falling to Shelton in the semifinals, 25-22, 25-15. This year marks just the third time in the last 11 years the Tigers haven’t won their own tournament, a span over which they’ve accumulated a 59-3 record.

“Shelton caused us a lot of problems with their serving and ability to side out. We had a tough time stringing together points on our serve, so could never get a good run going,” Sharp said. “Individually, I know our defense was working really hard, but we need to work together as a team to improve that area. We love winning, but we learned a lot about where we still need to improve both as individuals and as a team. This is a talented team and it’s exciting to think our best volleyball is still ahead of us.”

Rachel Wilkerson had nine kills and 14 digs, with 7 of 7 serving, against Shelton. Danika Jensen added seven digs, Mckenna Smith had five kills, seven digs and 7 of 7 serving, Mettler dished out 18 assists and Chelsea Petrino added four kills.

Petrino finished the day with 33 kills and 22 digs.

“Chelsea has worked really hard at her attacking and it is paying off for her,” Sharp said. “She had some monster kills today and is so fun to watch.”

Wilkerson added 29 kills and 38 digs.

“Rachel was great today. It was fun to see her take her game to another level,” Sharp said. “She is just so steady and consistent physically and emotionally. It was a great start for her senior season.”

Smith tallied 22 kills and seven blocks.

“Mckenna has been on varsity since her freshman year, but she her biggest jump in improvement if probably just over the past year,” Sharp explained. “She is hitting the ball harder and higher than she has her whole career.”

Kylie Sharp added 28 digs, and as a whole the Tigers served 93.3 percent (212 of 227) over the course of the day.

Centralia (4-1) plays at Adna in a nonleague match on Tuesday.

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