Thursday’s Prep Volleyball: T-Wolves Claw Past TIgers in Five Set Thriller
Jockeying for Position: Road Win Has Major Consequences in C2BL Standings
By Jordan Nailon
NAPAVINE – Momentum can be a fickle and combustible element in any athletic event. Typically, the higher the stakes and the more energy in the building the more that unquantifiable influence comes into play.
Thursday’s Central 2B League volleyball showdown between the hometown Tigers and Morton-White Pass was not immune to those rapid changes in trajectory as each team suffered through swoons and laughed through the high times in turn. When the final screech fell silent though the Timberwolves had secured themselves a critical 3-2 victory.
MWP was able to take the first set 25-23 before Napavine stormed back to claim the second and third sets by scores of 25-22 and 25-12. In the fourth set the T-Wolves trailed by as many as five points on several occasions and endured three ties and four lead changes before seizing a 25-21 victory that set up their 16-14 win in the fifth and final set.
Even in the fifth set, right after MWP had momentarily sucked the air out of the gym with their fourth set comeback, the ending always seemed as if it would come down to whichever team got hot at the right time. That penultimate set featured six ties but MWP never found themselves looking up at the Tigers in that final game. They even stretched their lead out to 9-5 before falling back into a 14-14 that brought a whiplashed crowd to its feet.
“That was one of the things is that I was trying to tell them was not to lose the momentum. They did a great job tonight,” said MWP coach Tammy Kelly. “It’s not always fun going on the road in this league. We knew it was going to be a tough match up right from the get go.”
In that final game of the night it was MWP’s 6’4 sophomore middle blocker, Katie Salguero, who delivered the victory clinching point with a quick flick of the wrist that sent the ball hurtling toward an uncovered sector of the glossy hardwood.
“That was a huge block at the end of the fifth game there,” said Kelly of Salguero’s game-winning hit.
Kelly noted that Salguero committed herself to playing club ball after her freshman season and that her game has begun to blossom because of that extra effort. “It’s nice for us to have her height in there,” Kelly said.
Salguero finished the night with six kills and two blocks, but her influence can not be summed up by statistics alone. That’s because her sheer presence at the net forces her opponent’s to reconsider their preferred plan of attack.
“I have really big hands so for blocking it’s easier for me, the ball just goes right there. And since I’m so tall I have a height advantage, and then jumping. For my hitting I try to watch and then I either tip or chip if I see there’s blockers around,” Salguero explained. “My role on the team, they call me their secret weapon, because a lot of people don’t expect me to come in and do that stuff but I do and then it gets our team really pumped up and ready to play.”
Helping out the T-Wolves cause alongside Salguero were Belen Salguero and Jacie Dunlap who chipped in eight kills each. Taylor Nilius added 10 kills for MWP while Carly King dished 23 assists and notched five kills of her own.
“I thought everybody had a great game. We all had some rough times, you know, I got blocked sometimes we missed some passes, but we all had to pick up our energy and keep working so hard so that we could win,” added the sophomore Salguero.
After dropping a long first set Napavine seemed out of sorts to start the second set and fell behind 4-0 before forcing ties at 4, 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, and 22 on the long way to the set victory. WIth that win in hand Napavine ran out to a 15-5 lead in the third frame and never looked back during their romp to a 25-12 win in the only lopsided set of the night.
“I was proud of my team. They passed well tonight. They hit well tonight. I felt like my whole team played hard tonight. My girls played with a lot of heart and a lot of determination tonight, probably more than I’ve seen all year,” said Napavine coach Monica Dailey.
Ada Williams, Sydney Purvis and Haily Murray all turned in perfect nights at the service stripe for Napavine while Williams added 15 assists and Murray notched 16 kills and seven block kills in the game. Ashley Dickinson dished 11 assists for the Tigers.
“Olivia Alegria had a great night on serve receive and defense. She had 25 digs,” added Dailey. “Vannie Fagerness and Rae Sisson also had monster nights on defense.”
With those two wins in hand Napavine seemed poised to send MWP home unhappy, but the powerful pull of momentum had one more swing on the pendulum left in store. The Tigers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the fourth set, but then watched the game slowly slip away as the T-Wolves woke up again.
“I knew that they were a good team. My hope was that we could get them early but that wasn’t the case,” said Dailey. “I know what my team is capable of but you always want to win in three or four. You never want to go a fifth set, that’s always been my thinking.”
The loss for Napavine drops them from fourth to seventh place in the C2BL while the win springboards MWP from 5th to 4th place with just one week left in the regular season.
With a team that’s precariously balanced by a heavy rotation of seniors and sophomores, Dailey says the key going forward will be to get those players on the same page earlier, and more often.
“They are still growing and learning,” said Dailey. “They are on the cusp. What we are lacking right now is consistency.”
MWP (8-4, 5-3 league) will play in the Adna Tournament on Saturday and then head back to Adna for a league contest on Monday. Napavine (9-4, 5-4 league) will also play in the Adna Tournament on Saturday before hosting Mossyrock on Wednesday.
Onalaska Sweeps Toledo
TOLEDO — The Lady Loggers made quick work of Toledo here on Thursday in a 3-0 sweep in Central 2B League volleyball action.
Onalaska won with set scores of 25-17, 25-23 and 25-15.
Olivia Mitten tallied 10 kills and Eryn Duryea added 11 kills and 29 digs. Sophia Leal tallied 14 digs and Carmen Cleveland-Barrera contributed eight blocks, three kills and served 17 of 17.
Kaylyna Deck served 100 percent and had 11 assists and Onalaska coach Terri Dalsted noted the excellent play at the net by Dakotah Fuller.
“I think we had a really good night tonight,” Dalsted said. “We set some goals for ourselves and went after them and the kids achieved them tonight so I was really proud of them.”
Onalaska (6-6, 5-3) travels to Toutle Lake on Monday in a C2BL contest while Toledo (3-10, 1-8) wraps up the regular season on Monday against the Chinooks in Kalama.
Mossyrock Fights Past Adna
MOSSYROCK — The Vikings had sets scores of 25-15, 25-11 and 25-19 for a clean sweep of Adna in a Central 2B League volleyball match here on Thursday.
Faith Mulligan served 18 of 19 and added four aces and 11 digs. Andee Nelson served 100 percent with 10 kills and Amy Fitzhugh also served 100 percent with seven digs, including some great digs in the third set.
Heather Edgar served 12 of 13 with seven kills and five blocks and Shania Hadaller totaled 33 assists for the Vikings.
“I think they played really well. Adna came to play, it was really competitive in the first set,” Mossyrock coach Alex Nelson said. “They stuck around, we had a small lead throughout the first set. It was a fun night for us, we did a good job attacking every third ball. I liked the speed of the game as well.”
Mossyrock (9-3, 7-1) and Adna (2-10, 2-6) will compete next at the Adna Tournament on Saturday.
Ilwaco Defeats Pe Ell
ILWACO — Pe Ell struggled against Ilwaco here on Thursday, falling 3-0 in a Pacific 2B League volleyball match.
Ilwaco won with set scores of 25-13, 25-23 and 25-21.
Ellie Little served 15 of 15 with nine assists and five kills and Katie Davis added seven kills for the Trojans.
Pe Ell (3-9, 2-5) hosts South Bend on Monday in a league match.
Rochester Takes Down Centralia in Four
Centralia and Rochester battled in an EvCo volleyball match at Ron Brown Court on Thursday, with the Warriors earning a 3-1 win.
Rochester trailed in the opening set but came back and won 25-19. Centralia bounced back with a 25-19 second set win to even the match.
The Warriors won set three 25-19 and kept the momentum going for a 26-24 fourth set win to clinch the match.
Lexie Sederberg-Jones had 14 kills and Paige Winter had eight kills and three stuff blocks. Emily Morris added two aces for the Warriors.
“There were a lot of lead changes. It was a really exciting game, definitely for the crowd,” Rochester coach Wendy Hawes said. “I’m proud of my girls not losing composure while not playing up to our par. We were making a ton of errors.”
Hawes also noted the serving streaks of Bethany Hawes and Emily Morris.
Centralia’s Danika Jensen had 10 digs, served 20 of 20 and three aces and Kylie Sharp tallied 28 digs and served 10 of 11.
Hannah Porter recorded eight kills and was 11 of 12 serving and Kennedy Strophy added eight kills. Evie Rooklidge contributed 13 digs and Madelinn Corwin totaled five digs and four kills.
“I think we played better this time versus the last time. We were better prepared on the defensive end,” Centralia coach Marti Smith said. “It went back and forth, it was a good match for spectators. They continued to fight, a lot of teams that would be going through what we’re going through and you’ll see some teams not give as much. I’m proud of my girls, it was a match where everybody contributed in one way or another.”
Rochester (7-6, 3-5) faces W.F. West in Chehalis on Tuesday while Centralia (0-12, 0-8) travels to Tumwater on Tuesday to take on the Thunderbirds in an EvCo match.