Tigers Come Back, Survive, and Advance


YAKIMA — The downward momentum from its four-set loss to Toutle Lake continued for the the Napavine volleyball team to start its loser-out match against Forks on Thursday evening, but the Tigers bounced back to keep their season alive with a 20-25, 25-22, 25-14, 25-22 win.

“We started moving our feet, we started playing with more excitement,” Napavine coach Monica Dailey said. “We do better when we are talking and moving our feet and having fun, and we started having some fun.”

The flip came midway the second set, when the Tigers fell behind early but came back to take a 13-12 lead, and went on to grind out a necessary win to even the match up.

From there, Napavine flew, playing its best volleyball of the day in a one-way rout of a third.

“They started having fun and just playing with aggression,” Dailey said. “And they started moving fast, transitioning quickly, seeing the ball better. That helped. And they wanted to carry momentum into that fourth set.”

Keira O’Neill put down 21 kills, while Morgan Hamilton had 11 and Grace Gall posted nine, with Anna Thompson getting her swings in as well. Jessie McCoy dished out 22 assists, and Avery Schutz added 17 of her own.

On defense, just about everyone pitched in a whole lot for the Tigers. Emily Kang led the way with 16 digs, while Hamilton added 15 and Gall had 13. At the net, O’Neill finished with four blocks.

“Our defense did a lot better in the back row,” Dailey said. “It’s a combination of things, and it’s hard to pinpoint where one is better than the other. The hitters get all the accolades, because they get the ‘Wow’ points, but the setters did a great job of feeding our hitters, getting more on the net so they could get on top and put the ball down shorter in the court. I’m just proud of the team as a whole.”

Napavine sees its season continue into Friday morning, where it’ll once again be playing for its life when it takes on Tri-Cities Prep at 8 a.m. The Jaguars fell to Adna in their opener in Yakima, before coming back to beat Granger in four sets. A win would put the Tigers into the seventh-place game.