Pirates Win Momentum Battle, Take First-Round Matchup


YAKIMA — Wendie Dotson had a magic trick early Thursday morning in Yakima: she put her hands together in a T-shape, and all of the Adna volleyball team’s troubles disappeared.

Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite that simple. But with the Pirates settling into their run at the 2B state tournament, there were plenty of bumps in the road, but a few well-timed timeouts helped Adna gather itself en route to a 25-22, 25-21, 28-26 win over No. 12 Tri-Cities Prep in the first round.

“Just trying to make them focus,” Dotson said. “I’m trying to not put pressure on them, but just talk about what we need to do, what little things we need to do. They make some comments to help them relax. And hopefully we take a timeout and they miss their next serve.”

Three of the first four Adna timeouts — in the first two sets — came with the Pirates leading, but the Jaguars serving. All four saw the Pirates get serve back within two points, two of which triggered runs where they’d finish off the set without giving it back.

But the third set was a different story. The Jaguars found their rhythm and the Pirates faltered, and while two timeouts saw Adna stall out TCP’s momentum temporarily, it still fell behind 23-14.

“Those (timeouts) were trying to refocus them, trying to let them get into the right place so they can make the right plays,” Dotson said. “Because they dig themselves into a hole, and then we have to build. But they’ve done that before, so they don’t panic when they do it. I panic for them, but they just play point-to-point, and it showed in that game right there.”

It started showing at the last possible moment. TCP went into the net to give the Pirates the ball and a hope, and Parker Feist delivered at the line. Eight straight points tied the game up at 23-23, and while the Pirates had to fend off a set point at 24-23, and couldn’t cash in on a pair of match points in extra, but Brooklyn Loose pushed one last kill cross-court to end it.

“We’ve done it in the past, gotten in the hole,” Dotson said. “So our team doesn’t necessarily panic. A lot of other teams, they may have not had that opportunity as much, so they’re playing not to lose, while we just play.”

Kendall Humphrey finished with a team-high 18 kills, seven of which came in the Pirates’ final 19 points in the third-set comeback, always seeming to find herself at the pin when Adna needed to go on a run.

“She’s definitely a momentum person,” Dotson said. “I think we have a really good passing crew in the back when she’s in the front, which allows us to get the ball to her more times.”

Danika Hallom delivered a 13-kill, 10-dig double-double for Adna. Loose led the Pirates with 23 assists, and also added four kills, four digs, and four aces. Gaby Guard had 13 assists and three digs, while Feist had 11 digs and Natalie Humphrey finished with eight.

With its first-round matchup in the rearview, Adna moves on to a second game Thursday night; the Pirates will match up against No. 4 Colfax, which breezed through its morning match against No. 13 Granger.