Mountaineers overcome early deficit to sweep Tigers


The Rainier volleyball team was down early, but quickly kicked it into high gear on Thursday, sweeping Napavine 28-26, 25-19, 25-19 to jump the Tigers in the C2BL standings.

The Mountaineers (10-3, 5-1 C2BL) were down 18-9 and 24-20 at separate points in the opening set, but clawed back to take a 1-0 lead.

They had success throughout the night serving, as the Tigers (11-3, 5-2 C2BL) struggled to get the ball to their setters, which slowed down their offense.

As a result, the Tigers sent over 24 free balls, allowing the Mountaineer offense to go to work.

Acacia Murphy and Allyson Ooms had nine kills each, while Haleigh Hanson had five. Katelyn Eckroth had 11 assists and three aces.

Olivia Earsley and Lilly Johnson led the defense with 16 digs each, though Liberty Adair wasn’t far behind with 12 kills of her own.

“We played amazing as a team and I am super proud of how they played. We really came together and worked hard,” Rainier coach Carrie Ooms said. “Napavine is a tough team to beat and my girls have been working hard to bring home the win, especially for Senior Pink Out Night.”

As for the Tigers, they just couldn’t get rolling offensively, and it cost them, especially late in that first set.

“We came out firing on all cylinders, we were playing hard, we were playing fast and they were unstoppable,” Napavine coach Monica Dailey said. “And we just couldn’t put it away … it was probably our weakest outing of the season.”

The bright spot for the Tigers came at the net defensively, where they racked up 16 blocks as a team.

“We’ve never blocked better,” Dailey said. “We just couldn’t do anything else right.”

Anna Thompson led the way with six blocks, while Keria O’Neill had four in addition to six kills. Dakota Hamilton had a double-double with 11 kills and 10 assists while also adding four aces.

Grace Gall led the defense with eight digs, while Jessie McCoy added five kills.

Rainier will return to the court on Saturday, playing a rescheduled match against Toledo, while Napavine will welcome the Riverhawks on Monday.