Tigers Pounce Early, Roll Past Beavers


TENINO — The Centralia volleyball team sped northeast to Tenino and didn’t let its foot off the gas once the match started, jumping out fast in all three sets of a 25-9, 25-6, 25-13 sweep in non-league play on Wednesday.

“I’ve definitely been looking for that,” Centralia coach Marti Smith said. “After our Centerville tournament and the first two games, it kind of takes us a little bit to get going. But this was a great, fast start. It was great to get a fast start like that. Going into next week as we get into league, we need to learn how to get those fast starts because we have a very competitive, tough league, and it’s not going to come easy to get those starts.”

The Tigers came out on fire, building an 18-4 lead in the first set and a 20-4 advantage in the second. While both sides had decent games on defense, it just always seemed to be Centralia with the putaway play, or Tenino making the first mistake.

That was only when the Beavers were able to return Centralia’s serves; much of the time, the Tigers’ service game won points straight away. 

“We always preach that our serving is a part of our offense, and it’s really vital to our game,” Smith said. “When our serving’s on, it creates a lot of opportunities for us later on. This was our best serving night the entire season.”

Centralia only had three service errors all night long, while the Tigers put down 15 aces. Payton Baumel led the way with five aces, all of which came during a 10-point service run in the second set that blew things open from 10-4 to 20-4.

She, Peyton Smith, and Lauren Wasson all had perfect serving outings of double-digit serves.

Smith passed around 22 assists, with Wasson leading the attack with 10 kills and Emily Wilkerson adding nine in the middle.

“When our passing is great like it was tonight, we can create opportunities offensively,” Smith said.

Brianna Asay had a pair of kills for the Beavers, who struggled to get into much of an offensive rhythm all night, sending free balls back to the Tigers more often than not.

Tenino put together a run of three points just once in the first two sets, but started to piece things together in the third, clawing back to a six-point deficit at 16-10 before a double hit and an attack error swung momentum back in Centralia’s favor.

“I think they just said, ‘You know what, screw it’ and just played, and that’s what they need to do,” Tenino coach Shauna Carpenter said.

Centralia (2-1) will get one more non-league game, hosting 1A Elma on Thursday. Tenino (1-2) is slated to make the long trip south to Stevenson on Friday.