YAKIMA — Though it wasn’t quite in the dominating fashion Mossyrock is used to, the Vikings did just enough to come away with a sweeping victory over Shoreline Christian (25-18, 25-19, 25-20) in the round of 16 at the 1B state tournament Thursday in Yakima.
The No. 2 Vikings, who cruised their way to league and district titles, were a little hesitant in all aspects of their first match Thursday against the No. 15 Chargers, who were coming off a sweep of Pateros in the play-in round.
It’s not entirely surprising as many of the Vikings (20-1) have never played in the state tournament yet, with 2020 being canceled due to the pandemic.
“It’s been a little bit of break since the last time we’ve been here,” Mossyrock coach Alex Nelson said. “A lot of the girls on the team have not been on this floor in this big of an arena. It was an adjustment for us.
“We struggled to play our game but we ended up with a victory, so we’re happy with that. We’re looking to play a little bit more of our game. We played a little safe in that game, so we’re just happy to have a win under our belt.”
Mossyrock, which dropped down to Class 1B last year, has placed second in 2B state the last three times the tournament has been held (2017, 2018, 2019). Now they’re looking to nab their first state title in program history.
It won’t be a breeze through the 1B ranks, as the Vikings found out in the first match with the Chargers keeping it close most of the way.
Mossyrock kept the Chargers at arms reach in the first set, but came out flat in the second, falling behind 8-2 at one point, before gaining momentum again and holding on the rest of the match.
“They learned a lesson that if you play safe here, it’s going to be difficult to win,” Nelson said.
Mossyrock will now face No. 7 Mary Walker in the quarterfinals at 6:45 p.m.