2A Volleyball: Centralia Sweeps Tumwater in Epic Upset

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DIGGING DEEP: Excellent Serving and Defense Propels the Tigers to a Sweep of Defending Conference Champ Tumwater Tuesday Night

Centralia volleyball’s season-opener went better than coach Marti Smith and her Tigers could have asked for.

The Tigers swept league rival Tumwater at home, 25-20, 25-20 and 25-19, in a huge upset of the defending conference champion Thunderbirds, who were state participants last season.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better start,” Centralia coach Marti Smith said.

Junior Evie Rooklidge was a perfect 12-12 on serving with three aces and 20 digs. Junior Jadyn Hawley was 11-for-12 on serving with 21 digs and six kills. Senior Faith Waterfield and junior Madelinn Corwin each tallied seven kills, senior while Hailey Brann added four kills and two blocks.

“Evie owned the libero role tonight,” Smith said. “It was her first game as libero for us. She was solid.”

Smith praised the Tigers’ teamwork and defense for pulling out the win against a tough Thunderbirds opponent.

“Everyone at some point contributed to this win,” Smith said. “ We knew defense and serving would be key. It’s tough to earn points against Tumwater. I thought our girls did a good job playing in new roles.”

For months, the Tigers were unsure if they’d even get to have a season this year after their traditional fall season was postponed multiple times due to the pandemic. So they’re making the most of what they have, she said.

“Our main goal is playing with joy in our hearts and being a family,” Smith said. “ We’re grateful we have the opportunity to play, and each point we play as if it’s our last… It was definitely fun. We want to celebrate this win and get ready for our rival Thursday night.”

The Tigers travel across the Twin Cities to take on W.F. West at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

W.F. West Finishes Off Aberdeen in Four

The long road trip to Grays Harbor wasn’t enough to stifle W.F. West as the Bearcats waltzed into Aberdeen and walked back out with a win in four sets against the Bobcats, with match wins in the first, second and fourth sets.

W.F. West coach Emily Mora said seeing her team battle back after losing the second set was the most encouraging aspect of the win.

“It was good for us because it let us know what to work on and see some unforced errors,” Mora said. “It shows we’re mentally where we need to be.”

Mora was especially pleased with W.F. West’s defense, which kept the Bearcats in the game the entire night. She said it was nice to see the defensive ferocity in practice translate to a live game.

“You can’t see their smiles with the masks on, but you can tell they were happy,” Mora said. “The bus was alive with laughter. Everyone was excited. I love the mentality of not taking a point for granted, not taking a game for granted.”

The Bearcats now host Twin Cities rival Centralia at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Rochester Falls in Four Matches to Black Hills

With a young and inexperienced group, Rochester girls volleyball was unable to pull out a win in its season opener on the road Tuesday night at Black Hills.

Rochester fell in four sets, 25-7, 25-12 and 25-13, as Black Hills proved too much for the Warriors, who brought back just three varsity players from last season.

The Warriors were led by a trio of sophomore Tuesday, with Lauren Rotter tallying 21 digs, Roisin Stull registering three kills as the lead hitter and setter Kilee Wild dishing out four assists.

“We normally have a longer preseason to work stuff out,” Rochester coach Wendy Hawes said. “We had just six practices and we need to communicate better.”