Battling back and forth all night, Napavine outlasted Rainier in five sets (24-26, 25-13, 25-21, 19-25, 15-8) for its first league victory of the season Tuesday night.
The Tigers had an up and down game, dominating in spurts, and fall behind during other points of the game, but coach Monica Dailey said the team did a better job of eliminating big runs from the Mountaineers Tuesday.
“It shows a lot of growth,” she said. “They’re very intelligent athletes. They know how to win, they know what winning feels like, and sometimes they want to win so badly that I think they get in their heads a bit. They’re going to get there, I know they will, and tonight they showed glimpses.”
Leading the way behind the service line was Avery Schutz, who served 11 straight points in the fifth and final set to help the Tigers to victory. The sophomore setter dished out 10 assists, was 36 for 38 serving, and had eight aces in the win.
Sophomore libero Nikki Ahmann was right behind, with seven aces and 15 digs. Ahmann had a big service run in the second set of eight straight that helped the Tigers fight back to tie it 1-1 at the time.
Keira O’Neill had another strong night at the net, torching 15 kills past the Mountaineers with 11 block kills. Grace Gall had eight kills with 17 digs, and freshman Emily Kang finished with a game-high 41 digs on the night.
The Tigers will be back on Thursday on the road in Onalaska, while the Mountaineers look to bounce back against Morton-White Pass.