Tuesday’s Prep Volleyball: Bearcats Repel Mossyrock
On the Grind: W.F. West Bests Vikings to Cap Eight Game Opening Week
By Jordan Nailon
It’s not everyday that you see a 2B school from East Lewis County march into the Mint City and challenge the 2A Bearcats to a battle on the hardwood but that’s exactly what Mossyrock did here Tuesday night. In the end, the Vikings, who tout just 218 students in their student body, put up an inspired effort at W.F. West (student pop. 990) before falling in four sets.
W.F. West used a blitzkrieg set of serves in the opening set to rush by Mossyrock as the Vikings attempted to adjust to the high velocity serves on the fly. The Bearcats lead that set from
start to finish with a final score of 25-11.
That throttling in the opening set didn’t seem to upset Mossyrock coach Alex Nelson in the slightest.
“We need the competition. The speed of the game will help prepare us. That’s what we’re looking for when we match up with Chehalis, speeding up the game a little bit,” explained Nelson. “Their serving is a little bit tougher than we’ve been seeing so we struggled with our serve receive, but definitely, that helps prepare us. So as much as we can, we want to match up with competitive teams.”
However, the Vikings didn’t make the trip to town just to roll over and chalk it up to experience gained. Following a huddle in between sets and a team-wide recalibration Mossyrock rapidly began to find their bearings once the second set began.
In that set the Vikings raced out to a 10-5 lead and then pushed their advantage out to 18-12 before W.F. West began making up ground again. The set wound up tied at 18-all, and then again at 22 and 23-all before the Bearcats managed to escape with a 25-23 victory to take a 2-0 lead in the game.
Mossyrock was able to avoid a sweep by capturing the third set. W.F. West staked out a slim early lead and eventually pushed it out to 11-8 before Mossyrock called a timeout. A 14-4 run by the Vikings following that huddle gave them a 21-15 advantage before solidifying the set victory at 25-20.
Andee Nelson had 14 kills for Mossyrock on the night while Morgan Houghtelling cobbled together 14 digs and seven kills while connecting on 12 of 13 serves. It was Houghtelling’s effort that stood out in particular to Coach Nelson.
“Although she doesn’t have the most kills she hits from the backside and you can see from the error column, she never had one,” Nelson noted. “She’s just a sophomore and she stepped up big for us tonight.”
Heather Edgar added 10 kills, 12 digs, six solo blocks and three aces for Mossyrock.
“Heather is our middle blocker and you can tell, that’s a big night, and there’s a lot of people across the net who can hit so I thought she did a good job of anticipating,” added Nelson.
The fourth and final set of the evening featured at least nine ties and five lead changes until W.F. West wrestled the game away for good by a score of 26-24 on a game-ending stuff block by Paytton Crawford.
“There was a lot of push at the end. Mossyrock had started tipping the middle and we let one of those drop and after that our girls made a very quick adjustment,” said W.F. West coach Emily Mora. “We were able to kind of weather the storm. Mossyrock is fantastic competition and I think they are going to have a very successful season.”
Ashlyn Whalen helped the Bearcats persevere the Mossyrock onslaught by posting 20 digs while Mak Moore added 22 digs and 11 kills of her own. Sophie DeTray defended the net and collected four stuff blocks for her effort while Kailey Hoyt did her damage from the service line with six aces. As per usual. Paytton Crawford found herself serving as the straw that stirs the drink for W.F. West and finished the evening with 20 digs, 19 assists and eight kills.
“Payton does a fantastic job of running our offense and what I really like is that she is an offensive threat herself,” said Mora, who noted that Crawford can go up and hit with the big jumpers or dump a sneak-set over the net depending on the situation. “She’s our offensive coordinator and she is able to catch people out of position all the time.”
Mora also praised the play of freshman Drea Brumfield at the net along with seniors Megan Pallas, Moore and Hoyt, calling them the team’s “big hitters.”
“They’ve been in the program for a while and have a very mature swing,” said Mora.
Over on the other bench, Nelson agreed with that assessment.
“Mak has a really fast attack, but also Megan Pallas has come along in her hitting, and Hoyt.
They’ve got a lot of arsenal there,” Nelson said.
Mora pointed out that Tuesday night’s non-league contest was her team’s eight game in the first seven days of the regular season, and their sixth match since Saturday. She said that the overloaded front end of the schedule was a great trial by fire for her players.
“The girls have been going hard so coming into today I though it could go one of two ways. I was really excited that they came out with a lot of fire,” said Mora. “After the first game I said, ‘Now it’s a challenge because you’ve got to maintain that level of intensity.’ Throughout you could kind of see the fatigue from our schedule starring to sneak in but I was really proud of the way the girls just gritted it out.”
W.F. West (4-0) will play at the Mark Morris Monarch Invite on Sept. 22, while Mossyrock (1-1) will host Onalaska on Wednesday.
Tigers Cruise Past Raymond
RAYMOND — Napavine made quick work of the Seagulls here on Tuesday, earning a 3-0 win over Raymond in a non-league volleyball match.
Napavine won the sets 25-11, 25-18 and 25-22.
Ada Williams served 100 percent with five aces and seven assists and Olivia Alegria also served 100 percent with five aces and 10 defensive digs.
Haily Murray added seven kills and three block kills. Napavine coach Monica Dailey said Rae Sisson and Vannie Fagerness each played great defense and Riley Beeson and Sydney Purvis played great at the net.
“I felt we did much better than we did last Thursday. We had bigger runs of good play, but we did have a tendency to let up in the middle of the game in the second and third sets,” Dailey said. “We were able to finish and get the win and I’m proud of the girls for that. There are things we need to work on but things are coming along pretty good.”
Napavine (2-0) travels to face Adna on Thursday in a non-league match.
Note: Rochester fell 3-1 to Montesano in a non-league match on Tuesday in Montesano. Onalaska fell 3-0 to Toutle Lake in Onalaska. Pe Ell lost to South Bend 3-0 in South Bend. Hoquiam defeated Toledo 3-1 in a non-league match in Hoquiam.
Oakville Falls to to Chief Kitsap Academy
POULSBO – Sporting a lineup with three eighth graders and six players in total here Tuesday night in their first game of the season Oakville forced Chief Kitsap Academy to go a full five sets. Unfortunately, for the Acorns the scales tipped in the direction of the Bears with final set scores of 19-25, 23-25, 25-21, 25-20, and 15-10.
Oakville coach Jessica Spitzer said she was proud of the way that her team bounced back after dropping the first two sets of the night. She said her inexperienced and shorthanded team showed heart by taking the match to its full potential.
“It was a good battle. They are a young team and with a good skill set but we only had six eligible players and it took a little while for them to get the jitters out,” said Spitzer. “After that they played well.”
Joanna Kukhar notched eight aces and four kills for Oakville while Mya Ortivez registered seven aces, three assists and a kill. Alexis Star-Wright added six aces of her own.
“Every single one of the girls, all six of them, had at least one ace serve. It’s really nice that they had quite a few aces as a team,” added Spitzer.
Oakville (0-1) is scheduled to play at Lake Crescent on Thursday.