1B Volleyball: Mossyrock Falls in Five-Set Thriller to Toutle Lake


Just like plenty of teams, both Mossyrock and Toutle Lake volleyball saw its teams go through many ups and downs Wednesday night in a 1B-2B matchup in Mossyrock. 

In a back and forth match that went to five sets, the team that got off to the stronger start in the final frame was victorious, with the Ducks (3-3) taking home the five set win (19-25, 25-16, 25-23, 16-25, 15-13) over the Vikings (2-1). 

“We missed our first serve, and they had their best server coming up,” Vikings coach Alex Nelson said of the fifth set. “It’s tough to do that in the beginning of a game like this. What we talk about in a game of five, is we want to be the first to five.”

After the serving error, the Ducks went on a 5-2 run, leading 6-2 before the Vikings could compose themselves and make a set of it, fending off three straight match points before finally falling 15-13. 

Wednesday night’s contest was a game of big runs, with most set scores appearing not very competitive. Mossyrock came out firing out of the gate, going up by seven early in the first set and never looking back in a 25-19 first set win. The second set could not have looked any different, with the Vikings struggling with errors and mistakes and falling 25-16. 

The third set was the most competitive, with both teams trading blows until the Ducks came away with a big 25-23 third set win. After another dominant fourth set win that forced a fifth by the Vikings, 25-16, their poor start cost them in a close early season contest. 

“Toutle Lake is a very scrappy team, very long rallies,” Nelson said. “In those two that they won they were coming up with the win in those rallies. In that fourth set, it was us. We had complete control of that game, they had a serving run, but we really controlled that game going into the fifth. The key is having a strong start. It’s something to work on.”

Both teams had incredibly high highs, and low lows, and in a game between two state contenders in the 1B and 2B classifications, the first team to make a big mistake was going to lose. 

“We did a good job battling in that one,” Nelson said. “One thing that we told our girls is you can’t have those highs and lows, those peaks and valleys, which we saw tonight. I felt like in the first set we were great, in the second and third we got tentative and played it safe when we could put away the ball. No one stepped up, we had to ask it of them. 

“We want to see that from our girls, demanding the ball and wanting the ball to come to them. A little tentative at times when it was a high pressure situation.”

But for Nelson, though obviously she would have preferred a win for her team, Wednesday night’s loss was a great early season opportunity to grow. Playing one of the best volleyball programs in the region is a great way to improve early in the year. 

As they look to build toward their own league and state title run, a loss like this could be just what the Vikings needed looking forward.

Mossyrock’s standouts include setters Erin Cournyer and Caelyn Marshall, who combined for 44 assists, Payton Torrey, who finished with 21 kills with just three errors, and Hailey Brooks, who had 17 kills to go along with six aces. Paige Houghtelling had a double-double with 20 digs and 12 kills. 

Trojans Trample Owls

Pe Ell Scorched 26 aces and the Trojans easily flew past Mary M. Knight on the road for a sweeping victory (25-17, 25-20, 25-17) on Wednesday,

“It wasn’t our best game and the score could have been a lot different but we did good,” Pe Ell coach Hollie Briggs said. “The girls have a tendency to play at the tempo of the team we’re playing. There were some small mistakes we let happen.”

Setter Kennedy Kephart converted 37 of 39 sets with a team-high 17 assists and seven aces. Allie Engle led the Trojans with 12 kills and was 20 for 21 on attacks.

Abby Cox added six aces and Ava Bush tallied five aces. Bush and Peyton Peterson combined for 51 passes in the back row.

“It wasn’t our best passing game but, overall, the girls pulled it off again and we’re excited,” Briggs said.

The Trojans improve to 3-1 and head to Raymond for a tournament on Saturday. They then travel to Mossyrock on Tuesday.