W.F. West rebounded from a 2-1 deficit to fend off visiting Centralia in five sets (20-25, 25-19, 23-25 25-18, 15-9) in the first matchup of the Swamp Cup rivalry on Tuesday in 2A Evergreen Conference action at home.
“We love five-set games,” W.F. West coach Robert Lucas joked. “We just wanted to make it exciting for the fans. Lots of people in the stands.”
It was exciting. In front of a packed crowd, partly due to it being a pink out match with the Bearcats raising money for the Lewis County Breast Cancer Support Group, W.F. West and Centralia provided a back-and-forth thriller for everyone in attendance.
“That is one of the highlights of our season, to present them a check as a group,” Lucas said.
After dropping the opening set, the Bearcats battled back to take the second set before Centralia rallied in the third to go up 2-1. But it was the Bearcats who rose the highest when it mattered, winning the fourth game, 25-18, then leaving no doubt in a 15-9 fifth and final game.
“I told Centralia’s coach (Marti Smith) they’re annoying,” Lucas said. “They don’t let anything drop. We had some incredibly hard serves and they dug them up. Hats off to them.”
The Bearcats were led by Anna White’s nine kills, while Ava Olsen and Morgan Rogerson each added six kills.
Rogerson, Kambriah Simper and Maggie Busse were all praised by Lucas for their stellar play in the back row digging up the Tigers’ hits. Amelia Etue was commended for her timely kills and blocks, while White and Olsen were for their blocking and net play.
Sagie Brindle had a team-high 20 assists and Savannah Hawkins added 16 assists. Hawkins and Busse each finished with a team-high six acces. Rogerson and Hawkins each served 94%.
Centralia was led by Peyton Smith’s match-high 36 assists with 14 digs and 19 for 20 serving. Jadyn Hawley was a perfect 18 for 18 serving with eight kills and 24 digs.
Makayla Chavez chipped in eight kills for the Tigers, Ella Orr hammered in a match-high 12 kills to go with 30 digs, Evie Rooklidge was 22 for 22 serving with a match-high 32 digs and Tatum Johnston pitched in five kills.
As a team the Tigers served 97% on the night.
Centralia (1-4, 1-4 league) travels to Black Hills on Thursday. W.F. West (4-4, 3-2 league) hosts Tumwater on Thursday.