In what began as an emotional night in Morton, the Winlock volleyball team earned its fourth straight win to start the season, defeating the Timberwolves in four sets, 12-25, 25-17, 25-18, 26-24.
Prior to the game, the Timberwolves honored Carly King, a former player who passed away over the summer. King’s former coach, Tammy Kelly, and mother, Quedessa King, were in attendance. In addition to Kelly sharing a few words, flowers were given to King’s mother, and the two teams shared a moment of silence.
MWP coach Jamie Brazil said that a group of seniors who had played under Kelly and Quedessa, a former MWP assistant coach, came up with the idea of honoring King prior to the match.
“It was their way of showing their love for her and her family,” Brazil said. “They felt good about it, and I was happy to be able to help them do that.”
The emotions ran high throughout the gymnasium, including on the Winlock bench.
“We felt honored to be a part of it,” Winlock coach Terri Dalsted said. “You could feel the energy in the gymnasium.”
The Timberwolves (2-2) channeled that energy into the first set and came out strong, racing out to a 1-0 lead with a 25-12 win.
In the second set, the Cardinals (4-0) found their groove, settling in and winning 25-17.
“The girls just kind of fell into their roles,” Dalsted said. “Sometimes they try to play outside their role, but we focused on each person’s role and them playing within their game.”
The third set was very similar to the second, with the Cardinals taking it 25-18, but the fourth set was a tight one.
Winlock needed more than the usual 25 to seal the win, but they held on 26-24 to earn the win.
Kindyl Kelly had an outstanding all-around day for the Cardinals, recording 33 digs, 15 kills and five aces. Lacey Allen also recorded a double-double with 11 kills and 12 digs.
Charlee Connelly led the team with a staggering 49 digs while also going 11 for 12 serving, and Kyleigh Creach tallied 28 assists.
Dalsted was also pleased with the play of Jasmine Shepherd, who recorded 16 digs.
“Really tough defense, she really played to the next level,” Dalsted said. “I saw what I have been waiting to see out of her tonight.”
For MWP, Natalia Armstrong led the defensive effort with 25 digs, Maddie Clevenger and Ryelin Wiedenmann tallied four kills, while Wiedenmann also had three aces on a perfect night serving.
Malia Armstrong was also perfect serving the ball, and she also had four assists, while Amy Martinez recorded six assists.
MWP will look to get back above .500 on Thursday against Toledo, while Winlock will look to improve to 5-0 when they host Onalaska.