Napavine made quick work of Winlock on the road Tuesday, sweeping the Cardinals in three sets, 25-18, 25-14 and 15-6, in a season opener for both squads. Napavine coach Monica Dailey said excellent serving by the Tigers paved the way to victory.
Jesse Lee, Jordan Wilson and Sydney Purvis each served 100 percent on the night for the Tigers, while Purvis added three aces and 16 digs.
Rae Sisson blasted seven aces and dished out 14 assists for the Tigers. Vannie Fagerness contributed six aces and 23 digs, while Haily Murra led the way with 10 kills and three aces.
“We had first-game jitters and started out slow,” Dailey said. “I was impressed with our first game out. We played smart, paid attention to the holes in the defense, talked to hitters and took advantage of mistakes.”
Dailey said the entire experience was all new to both teams, with all the COVID-19 procedures, the introductions, teams not changing sides of the net, line judges not touching the ball and wearing masks, which can hinder eyesight.
“The girls responded well, not knowing if we would even be playing right now,” Dailey said.
Napavine hosts Adna at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Winlock will travel to Morton-White Pass for a 7 p.m. match on Thursday.
Last season, the Loggers beat Rainier in five sets to claim victory. Tuesday night was more of the same as the Loggers came back from a 2-1 set deficit to claim a season-opening victory over the Mountaineers at home.
Jenn Hamilton, in her first game as a head coach, said she couldn’t be more proud of her team for holding strong and pulling out a tough win. Hamilton overcame her first-game jitters, too.
“A friend texted me before the game and said ‘Good luck,’” Hamilton said. “ I said, “Oh my gosh, I feel like I’m back in high school again.”
The Loggers won 25-23, 12-25, 19-25, 25-17 and 15-10. Onalaska had two starters miss the game due to sickness and was forced to thrust three freshmen into the starting rotation. Hamilton had changed the rotation three times leading up to the game and was only able to get in six team practices before the season opener.
“They all took it well,” Hamilton said of her players. “We made mistakes but I feel like they were mistakes we can work on. We’re building a bond, we’re working on it and I’m proud of them.”
Sophomore Morgan Hamilton led the Loggers with 16 kills and 24 digs. Hamilton praised senior Keiley Fickett, who dished out some key passes from the back row in some tough moments. Freshman Desi Smith served 100 percent and recorded 21.9 aces. Hamilton also commended freshman Dakota Hamilton for her excellent setting on the night.
For Rainier, Amanda Knutz scored five aces and added one kill. Natasha Wood registered six aces and two kills. Isabella Holmes had two aces and two kills, and Kaeley Shultz led with nine kills and six blocks.
“We were a little nervous,” Rainier coach Shauna Carpenter said. “A lot of our girls hadn’t seen a gym floor in over a year.”
Onalaska travels to Mossyrock Wednesday to take on the Vikings who dropped down to Class 1B this season. The game is set for 7 p.m. Rainier hosts Toledo at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Toledo couldn’t hang on as Adna powered to a four-set win over the Indians Tuesday night in Toledo. Adna won 25-22, 23-25, 25-19 and 25-17 to improve to 1-0 in the season opener.
Indians’ coach Candace Maier attributed the loss to first-game jitters and to the Pirates for exploiting their weaknesses.
“They were nervous being back on the court,” Maier said. “Adna’s got some good hitters that we didn’t see last year. Our serves were off, too.”
Maier did commend Brynn Williams for her serving prowess, however, and senior Riley Pliler led the Indians with 11 kills.
“We need to work on court movement,” Maier said. “We had really good moments and dug ourselves out of some deficits.”
The Indians travel to Rainier to take on the Mountaineers Thursday. The Pirates travel to take on Napavine (1-0), a team that swept Winlock on the road Tuesday.