Wolves bounce back from early loss with win over Vikings


YAKIMA — The Black Hills volleyball team earned its first win at the state tournament since 2013 on Friday night, bouncing back from a first-round loss to No. 5 White River with a 25-10, 25-16, 25-17 win over No. 13 North Kitsap at the Yakima SunDome.

The win keeps the Wolves in contention for a top-eight finish at the tournament.

While Black Hills coach Karlee Sampson was frustrated with the team's performance in the first match, she was pleased with how they responded against the Vikings.

“I don’t know what it is about the state tournament, but it brings a lot of nerves for a lot of teams,” Sampson said. “And we have a pretty young team … we beat ourselves in that (first) game. So I’m really proud of them for coming out and beating North Kitsap.”

The Vikings were seeded just one spot below the No. 12 Wolves, but Black Hills used several scoring runs to seize control of the match.

The two teams were tied at nine early in the opening set, but the Wolves went on a 16-1 run to win.  In the second set, the two teams were tied at 11 before Black Hills went on a 14-5 run to seal the set. And in the third, the Wolves led 11-10 before a 14-7 run sealed the set and the match.

Sampson said that the girls came out with more energy than they did earlier in the afternoon, something that showed in the final result.

“They had fun,” Sampson said. “They were a little looser, they had fun, played their game, and put the ball away … I’m just proud of them.”

In the win over North Kitsap, Ashley Harris and Claire Johnson had 12 kills each, Lilly Kincaid dished out 31 assists, and Madison Malone led the defensive effort with 11 digs. Earlier in the day against White River, Harris also had 12 kills while Johnson added 10, Kincaid had 26 assists, and Malone again led the team in digs, recording nine.

Sampson also added that after the Wolves went two-and-out last year, it will be “really exciting” to play for a trophy on Day 2.

To earn a top-eight spot, the Wolves will need to top No. 9 Enumclaw on Saturday at 12:45 p.m. A win would put them in the seventh-place game at 4:15 p.m.