CENTRALIA — Tuesday night, in Black Hills’ sweep of Centralia, both squads were working out the kinks.
For the Wolves, who won 25-13, 27-25, 25-12, it was about answering adversity. Though it’s a senior-laden squad, Black Hills coach Paige Walker was happy with the win, but wanted more from her older squad.
“They’re working on being confident, they’re working on being a good team and rising to the occasion when they get challenged,” Walker said. “They’ve got to have the confidence to know they can weather that storm. There were some ups and downs but working on working through that stuff.”
For the Tigers (0-1), it was about getting back out on the floor for the first time in real action this season, and limiting mistakes. The Tigers committed 12 service errors, which head coach Marti Smith said was abnormal.
“Tonight showed our youth,” Smith said, noting that while she has a good group of seniors, she has a lot of young players playing new positions as well.
The first set was dominated by the visiting Wolves, who took advantage of Centralia’s disorganized attack and led from start to finish.
“We had good decision making,” Walker said. “We talk about that all the time, adjusting to every set, making the smart decision, whether that's getting the setter out of system or tipping over the block.”
In the second set, the Tigers showed some mental toughness and led for parts of a back-and-forth set before falling 27-25. Smith said losing that second set in that fashion was “deflating,” but was proud of her team’s effort in the second and third sets, despite the sweep.
For Smith, the Tigers can only play better throughout the rest of the season after a disappointing opening to the year in a loss.
“I would rather have what appeared to be our worst game at the beginning of the year rather than at the end,” she said.
Despite the loss, three Tigers finished with double-digit digs, with Jadyn Hawley and Ella Orr notching 12, and Evie Rooklidge registering 11, and junior Peyton Smith was a perfect 9 for 9 serving with eight assists.
The Tigers will head out to Shelton on Thursday looking for their first win.
Black Hills, meanwhile, will look to keep building the positive momentum it's gotten from some early season wins, including tonight. Though it hasn’t been perfect, Walker has seen vast improvement in the early season already.
“We’re still finding leadership within our team,” she said. “Finding some leadership skills and being okay with being challenged, right now we’re working through that. Right now, they’re a little uncomfortable when teams are aggressive and they get back in their face. But they’ve already gotten so much better in the couple weeks we’ve got going.”
The Wolves head out to Aberdeen on Thursday for their next game.
T-Birds Bust Out the Brooms on Bearcats
Bella Burney tallied a team-high eight kills and five blocks and Tumwater breezed through visiting W.F. West for a sweeping victory (25-8, 25-6, 25-17) in Tumwater Tuesday.
Brooklyn Hayes added three aces, six kills and 17 digs, libero Ella Wyrick had six aces and 11 digs and Emily Robello contributed 14 assists for the Thunderbirds,
“We came out strong, fought hard and supported each other,” Tumwater co-coach Jordan Stray said.
W.F. West struggled to keep focus on the match, only coming alive in the third set when it was too late to mount a comeback.
Maggie Busse led the Bearcats with four kills and Kambriah Simper served 100%. W.F. West coach Robert Lucas praised Ava Olsen and Anna White for adjusting to Tumwater’s quick sets, and Amelia Etue for her energy on the court.
“The third set it was finally, ‘OK, we aren’t gonna roll over,’” Lucas said. “There was more talking and communication. Proud of them for pushing through. They just weren’t going to give up.”
W.F. West (1-3) heads to the Monarch Madness tournament on Saturday in Longview. Tumwater’s (3-1) match against Rochester on Thursday was postponed for COVID protocol, so the T-Birds will next travel to Centralia (0-1) on Tuesday.