Pe Ell Upsets No. 1 Seed Wishkah at Districts


Going into Tuesday’s district-tournament opener against Wishkah, Pe Ell wasn’t sure what to expect with Wishkah Valley. 

The Loggers were the No. 2 seed in the 1B Coastal League before No. 1 Taholah withdrew for COVID-related reasons. That gave Wishkah the league’s top seed and a matchup against 1B Columbia Valley League’s fourth seed, Pe Ell.

The Trojans made the long trip to Wishkah and took care of business, sweeping the Loggers (25-19, 25-22, 25-17) to advance to the district semifinals.

“It was a little too close for me, but we still did really well,” Pe Ell coach Hollie Briggs said. “I’m excited, the girls are excited.”

The win puts the Trojans into a semifinal match against 1BCVL champion Naselle at 5 p.m. Thursday at Oakville High School. A win would secure a state berth. A loss would put them in a loser-out, winner-to-state match in the third/fourth-place game with the loser of Mossyrock and Willapa Valley, who are in the other semifinal matchup.

Against Wishkah, Alli Engel slammed a team-high 11 kills, some of which were tip kills. Setter Kennedy Kephart was 29 for 29 setting and dished out seven assists. The Trojans had zero setting errors across their three setters.

Freshman Brookelynn King stepped up and served 11 for 11, while libero Ava Bush, in her first game back in over a week, was 33 for 38 passing with five digs.

“Her coverage was great. We’ve been working on coverage as a team and we improved a lot,” Briggs said. “Brookelynn was super on point and consistent with her serving.”

Pe Ell improves to 7-9 overall and is in the midst of a turnaround year. Last season, they won just one match. Now, they’re one win away from clinching a state bid.

“I don’t think the girls realize how close (a state berth) is,” Briggs said.