YAKIMA — Mossyrock knew what it needed to do and the Vikings got it done, sweeping St. John-Endicott/LaCross (25-20, 25-15, 25-19) in the semifinals to advance to the 1B state championship match Friday in Yakima
“It feels good. I like this,” Mossyrock coach Alex Nelson said. “It’s a good place to be. This has definitely been their goal the start of the season. I wasn’t shy about telling them that’s what it should be, and you can see why.”
The Vikings came out on fire, and other than a few short slowdowns, put the hammer down against the No. 3 Eagles from wire to wire.
All aspects of the game were working for the Vikings, but their hitting was what was most impressive. The junior powerhouse duo of Payton Torrey and Paige Houghtelling lit up the Eagles’ defense, with Torrey tallying a match-high 23 kills and Houghtelling hammering 21.
“They followed through on our game plan and then played their game,” Nelson said. “Our outside did a great job. Our defenders, Jolee (Hadaller), Hailey (Brooks), everyone was getting touches on the ball.”
The Vikings’ defense helped limit the attack of the Eagles’ 6-foot-2 hitter, Ashlynn Archer, who was held in check for most of the match.
“We did a great job being smart and taking away their best player,” Nelson said. “What we did is said, ‘We’re not gonna stop her but we just want to contain her a little bit.’ We put a double block on her and made her work really hard.”
Mossyrock (22-1) now faces No. 1 Oakesdale in the state championship at 3:15 p.m. Nelson said she hopes the team can put together another complete match one more time.
“It was a great team effort,” Nelson said. “We did a good job willing each other to get the point. Very proud of a whole complete set. We’ve struggled with putting together a beginning, middle and end. There wasn’t a single set that looked like that. Really proud.”