2B Volleyball: Cards Upset Pirates in Five-Set Thriller

ON TO SEMIFINALS: Winlock and Napavine Head to Semifinal Matchups Against Toutle Lake and Kalama, Respectively, on Saturday

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Winlock’s quietest player had the loudest statement during the Cardinals’ district quarterfinal matchup against Adna. Freshman Maddy Rohman served the 15th and final point in set five to give eighth-seeded Winlock an upset victory (25-18, 26-24, 14-25, 13-25, 15-11) over fourth-seeded Adna at the district quarterfinals in Adna Wednesday.

“The gym exploded,” Winlock coach Chastity Pennington said. “It was amazing. The girls just fought; both teams.”

The victory is just one part of an incredible run for the Cardinals this season, who started out with five-straight losses then went on a three-game win streak to qualify for the district playoffs for the first time since 2005. The Cardinals then toppled Pacific 2B League’s top seed South Bend in the opening round on Saturday, and have now registered back-to-back playoff wins with the victory over Adna.

It was no easy feat facing a Pirates team that tied for third in the powerhouse 2B Central League. The Cardinals won the first two sets before the Pirates came storming back to take sets three and four to set up the fifth-set showdown. Adna rocketed out to a 9-0 lead in the final set and looked like it might complete the comeback.

“The third set, I was getting nervous,” Pennington said. “I saw the glimmer go away for just a second… but the girls made the decision and they did it. The rallies just kept going. Adna gave nothing away.”

Winlock junior Madison Vigre led with a game-high 21 kills and nine blocks, while multi-sport star Addison Hall chipped in 18 kills and added a team-high 21 successful serves with five aces. Pennington gave a shout out to everyone who has been supportive of the team this year, which has been a confidence booster for the Cards.

“Our parents, staff, fans, people watching online, they’re a huge part of our team,” Pennington said.

Adna ends its season 8-5 overall after tying for third in the league standings and taking the No. 4 seed into the district playoffs. The Pirates were led by Madison Fay’s nine kills, Ali Davis’ eight kills and Alisha Geise’s six kills. 

“Not the way we wanted to end the season,” Adna coach Wendie Dotson said. “I have to hand it to Winlock. They did any and everything to keep the ball in play. I thought we played aggressive and good things happened, but we just couldn’t string them together.

“Winlock wanted it, they were hungry for it and when they got behind, they didn’t get down. I don’t think they ever lost momentum.”

Six seniors played their final games in a Pirates’ volleyball uniform: Geise, Paige Wagner, Maddie Kleemeyer, Emma Eko, Ryann Wilson and Kooper Mohney.

“It’s tough to have lost for them,” Dotson said. “They had great chemistry, they get along and have no drama. THhey played well together and they’re a good group of girls.”

Winlock improves to 5-7 overall and faces No. 2 seed Toutle Lake (12-2) in the district semifinals at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Adna High School.

“Everything is just coming together,” Pennington said “It’s clicking. Everyone is so incredibly proud of them. We don’t know what to expect next. We know what we want, but we don’t know what to expect next.”

Tigers Take Down Spartans

Napavine took the most daunting road trip in the 2B Central League and came away with a sweeping victory (25-22, 25-21, 25-10) over Forks in the 2B District IV quarterfinals Wednesday.

The third-seeded Tigers improve to 9-3 overall and face undefeated top-seed Kalama (11-0) in the district semifinals at 3 p.m., Saturday, at Adna High School.

Haily Murray led the Tigers on Wednesday with a game-high eight kills, while Keira O’Neill added six kills and two kill-blocks. Vannie Fagerness tallied a team-high nine digs, Rae Sisson served 100% and Sydney Purvis added eight aces and six kills.

“We’re happy with the win,” Napavine coach Monica Dailey said. “We jumped out to a good lead in the first set (20-16), let them score several in a row then were able to finish.”

Napavine dominated the third set, racing out to a 10-0 lead and kept its foot on the pedal to the end.

“The girls played hard; they scrambled,” Dailey said. “Forks did a lot of free ballas and one-handed stuff. It was chaotic. They were scrappy. I’m proud of the girls. They persevered and fought hard.”

Indians Eliminated by Chinooks

Toledo’s run finally came to an end at the hands of undefeated, top-seeded Kalama, falling (25-13, 25-18, 25-13) in the district quarterfinals Wednesday.

“(We) would go and score some points and then they’d get Jeni (O’Neil) screaming and then the points would start rolling the other way,” Toledo coach Candace Maier said. “Obviously, they rolled a lot more than we did.”

Rylie Pliler led the Indians with nine kills, while Kate Demery added eight kills, Emma Cline-Maier put down two blocks and three kills, Brynn Williams notched five kills and Stacie Spahr chipped in three kills and a block.

Toledo, which entered Wednesday’s match on a five-game win streak, ends its season 7-6 overall. Senior Gracie Madill, Emma Cline-Maier, Kate Demery, Stacie Spahr and Rylie Pliler played their final game for the Indians.