Taking the hour-plus trek to Bremerton Tuesday night, the Centralia volleyball team made it a productive trip in a sweep of Olympic (25-23, 25-16, 25-11).
Additionally, the Tigers (1-0) recorded the program sweep of the Trojans, with both their JV and C-team winning, as well.
“I just thought overall, for our very first game with a new group, I couldn’t be more pleased with their effort and energy, especially after a long drive,” Tigers coach Marti Smith said. “They kept a good and consistent energy all night. They nailed it tonight. We definitely can solve some things we need to improve upon, but I can see this group getting better with each game that comes along.”
It was a group effort for the Tigers, who had solid contributions across the board in the win. Lauren Wasson picked up a team-high nine kills on 8 of 10 serving with six digs, and setter Peyton Smith notched 27 assists and missed on just two of 13 serves.
New libero Gracie Schofield was 7 of 8 on her serves, dug up 12 balls, and earned the praise of her coach after the game, stepping into the shoes of all-area pick Evie Rooklidge a year ago.
“Peyton Smith, it’s second year running the offense and there’s been a huge improvement from last season to this season,” Marti Smith said. “She’s taking control to run the offense. It’s pleasing to see. That’s what helps the other players to know what their roles are. It's going to build more trust on the court when everyone knows their job.
And Gracie has a tough role to fill … it was a gametime decision to even go with a libero tonight. We went with Gracie, and she stepped up the challenge well. After tonight, hopefully she’s gotten some confidence in her abilities and I’m looking forward to seeing how she develops in that role.”
Elsewhere, Alayna McGregor was 18 of 21 on her serves with six aces, Tatum Johnston was 15 of 16 on serves with four kills and three blocks, Hollynn Wakefield picked up six kills, and Emily Wilkerson had five kills and four blocks.
Smith was also pleased to see improvement within the game alone, as the Tigers struggled with serves in the first set but buckled down and settled into the game as it went on.
“We were definitely finding our footing and feeling better about where people were playing,” Marti Smith said. “Everybody contributed tonight, we even changed things up in the second set to get other players in. Sometimes when you make those changes you don’t know if it's going to change the dynamic, but the second set was great. They knew they could do better from the first set.”
The Tigers will look to keep it rolling in their home opener on Thursday against Heritage.