ONALASKA — Onalaska can’t remember the last time it beat Wahkiakum. The Loggers can’t even recall the last time they won four games in a row. At their home opener on Thursday, they achieved both.
In front of a fired-up home crowd, the Loggers wasted no time with visiting Wahkiakum, blasting the Mules for a sweeping victory (25-16, 25-20, 25-19) and running their win streak to four games.
“Wahkiakum is the scrappiest team,” Onalaska coach Jenny Hamilton said. “This is Christmas times 10 for me.”
Ony used excellent serve receive, crisp passing and rocket-launcher spikes from outside hitters Morgan Hamilton and Hannah James to keep the Mules off balance all night.
Hamilton led the Loggers’ attack with a game-high 19 kills to go with 20 digs and 18 of 19 serving.
“Morgan had an outstanding game,” Jenny Hamilton said. “All the girls. All the girls had an awesome game today.”
James tallied eight kills, 19 digs and served 100%, while Dakota Hamilton dished out a game-high 24 assists with six kills and 18 of 19 serving. Raelee Holmes finished with 30 digs and 100% serving, Jen Lipsee tallied a block and Andi Oliver had two blocks and two kills.
“The crowd really helped,” Morgan Hamilton said. “They really hype, and the team played really well together. We never got down and we usually get down, but we didn’t tonight.”
Jenny Hamilton said competing in a volleyball tournament in Yakima last weekend helped give the team confidence.
“Something happened over in Yakima, where we played some tougher teams,” Jenny Hamilton said. “They started winning and closing it out. Normally, when the score would get tight, they would just fall apart. They learned it’s not over until it’s over. I’m seeing a fight in them I haven’t seen in so long.”
The Loggers left no doubt against Wahkiakum, looking like a totally new squad from last year. Just five matches into the 2021-22 season, Ony has already surpassed the three total wins they garnered last year. It’s a level of play Hamilton hopes the team can maintain the rest of the way.
“I’m just so proud of them,” Hamilton said. “I couldn’t be more proud of a team.”
Onalaska (4-1) gets back into action when it hosts Mossyrock (2-1) at noon on Saturday in a non-league match.
Despite a strong fight in the second set, Rainier just couldn’t do enough to get over the hump in a sweep at the hands of Toutle Lake (25-9, 27-25, 25-15) Thursday night.
A tough first set was quickly forgotten by the Mountaineers (2-4, 0-1 2B Central), who pushed the Ducks around in the second set in a back and forth frame. The Ducks, however, were able to come away with the 27-25 win, and went on to win the third set 25-15.
After a busy week of games, including two in the last three days and just one short practice in between, the Mountaineers will look forward to some rest before their next contest against Napavine on Monday.
“The girls were tired and it showed the last set,” Rainier coach Shauna Carpenter said. “But we fought hard.”
Freshman Acacia Murphy led the way for the Mountaineers with seven kills, and Carpenter said that Olivia Earsley, Natasha Wood, Brooklynn Swenson played “lights out defensively.”
Though they came out a bit slow against a young Napavine team Thursday night, the Winlock volleyball team came away with a sweep (28-26, 25-16, 25-17) in its league opener.
At the end of the day though, the Cardinals (2-0, 1-0 2B Central) are pumped to get another win to start the season.
“The girls came out slow tonight,” Cardinals coach Chastity Pennington said. “They didn't quite get up to the potential they have, but they got the job done. They worked it out and did the job they were supposed to do.”
Madison Vigre was terrific serving, recording six aces and also asserting her will in the middle, with four blocks.
Defensively, Addison Hall and Maia Chaney combined for 29 digs, and Hall, who her teammates have dubbed, “The Hammer” for her hard-hitting style, led the team with seven kills.
“They never quit,” Pennington said. “We have been a team that historically once we get into a slump we have terrible times getting out of them. We’ve broken that trend, they know how to dig in and just go for it. I love seeing that, that’s a big change in our team. You don’t see that defeated, give up mentality.”
The Cardinals will put that to the test once more in a non-league make-up game against Onalaska on Monday, before resuming league play against Morton-White Pass on Tuesday.
The Tigers pushed the Cardinals in the first set, but seven service errors in the second set killed a lot of positive momentum they built up early in the match.
But despite the loss, Tigers coach Monica Dailey was impressed with her team’s defense. Napavine got a strong night at the net from Keira O’Neill and Anna Thompson, who forced Cardinals hitters to hit into defensive lanes where the Tigers already had coverage.
As a result, three Tigers had double-digit digs: Emily Kang, Nikki Ahmann, and Grace Gall. Kang and Ahmann were also perfect behind the service line.
“I felt like we played smarter tonight, which is a step in the right direction,” Dailey said. “We were aggressive on defense which was a bonus. We played strong at the net, but the missed serves really hurt us.
“I’m really impressed with my players. They don’t seem to get rattled, they always seem to be positive.”
The Tigers take on Rainier next on the road in a non-league game on Monday, and have two more road games on Tuesday and Thursday in league contests against Wahkiakum and Toutle Lake.
Adna senior Madison Fay put away a game-high 10 kills and the Pirates defeated Toledo in straight sets (25-15, 25-10, 25-16) at home Thursday in what was the league opener for both squads.
Kendall Humphries added eight kills, Allie Davis had six and Natalie Humphries was commended for her passing and service-line performance by coach Wendie Dotson.
“We struggled passing,” Dotson said. “We need to do a better job getting the ball to our passers. If we get the ball to Maddie (Fay), she can put the ball away.”
The Riverhawks were led by Brynn Williams’ eight assists, four kills and three digs, and was praised by Dotson for taking advantage of Adna’s corners.
Aleena Bloomstrom added three digs, two kills and an ace for Toledo, while Stefa Arceo-Hansen tallied three kills, Bethany Bowen had a game-high five aces to go with three kills and Lindsey Filla had four digs. Eden Jones added two kills and two blocks.
“It was a tough loss,” Toledo coach Brianna Klingberg said. “But we can only get better.”
Toledo (3-2 overall, 0-2 league) hosts Rainier on Tuesday. Adna (3-2 overall, 1-0 league) hosts Stevenson on Tuesday.