Hoquiam put up a fight but Montesano found a way to close things out in a close match to start league play for both teams.
Montesano (6-1, 1-0 Evergreen 1A) came away with the 3-1 win by scores of 25-17, 25-18, 23-25 and 25-21 in Montesano on Oct. 1 thanks in part to a strong game from McKynnlie Dalan, who had 14 kills.
Monte didn’t have too much trouble early in the first set, but hitting errors started to slow down the Bulldogs as the Grizzlies took the lead halfway through the set.
Bulldogs head coach Pat Pace liked what he saw from hitters early in the match but was disappointed to see the offense slow as the night went on.
“I thought our hitters made a statement early on, but that statement didn’t last very long,” he said.
Hoquiam (1-5, 0-1) lost their first league match of the season, but Hoquiam head coach Heather Bozich found reasons to be optimistic about the trajectory of her team after the contest, stating her team responded well after being initially intimidated.
“I think we started out really slow. I think it was more of a mental game for us knowing how tough Monte is,” she said. “We started playing our game and we did a really good job.”
Offense was spread out for the Grizzlies with Carsyn Munger leading the way with nine kills. Middle blocker Chloe Kennedy also had a solid game with six kills.
Hoquiam’s scrappy play didn’t go unnoticed by Pace, who said he felt his team was a little slow-footed by comparison.
“They were moving better on the court than we did. We have some girls that can hit at them but I think they out-maneuvered us,” he said. “We might have come out with the win tonight, but I thought (Hoquiam) played great.”
Montesano will take a brief break from the league schedule with an appearance at the Lumberjill Invite at RA Long High School on Saturday.
Bozich knows her team will be up against a tough challenge against Elma and thinks her team is ready to put up a fight based on how it played against Monte.
“I’m really proud of how hard they played tonight. They didn’t give up,” she said. They could have very easily given up and they turned it around and played really hard. We’re moving in the right direction”
Elma 3, Hoquiam 0
Elma’s Jalyn Sackrider was nearly unstoppable in an Oct. 3 match at Hoquiam.
The senior middle blocker finished the match with 22 kills as the Eagles swept the Grizzlies 25-14, 25-11 and 25-9 to pick up a 3-0 victory.
Setter Ella Moore kept the Eagles’ offense running smoothly and picked up 30 assists to help the Eagles to a 43 kills on the night.
Eagles head coach Kendra Dunn said her team had a good energy about them to start the match.
“Things were clicking and they were fired up and ready to play. It was only our second league game, so the girls came out with a lot of energy throughout the whole match. We kept a steadiness to us, which was nice.”
Hoquiam (1-7, 0-2) had trouble getting into its offense on its side of the net, coming away with just 14 kills as a team.
Carsyn Munger was the leading scorer for the Grizzlies with seven kills.
Hoquiam head coach Heather Bozich said her team’s passing struggles derailed their game plan.
“We didn’t make (Elma) have to play anything. Our passing wasn’t great, so we had a hard time running an offense and that gave them a lot of free-ball opportunities,” she said. “They were able to run their offense really well. Elma has tough hitters, so if we aren’t being diligent and getting into our defensive positions, then it’s tough to play a ball.”
Elma will get another chance to tweak some things before getting back to playing league matches as the Eagles head to RA Long High School for the Lumberjill Invitational at 9 this morning.
Hoquiam’s next match comes on the road against Forks at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Elma 3, Tenino 0
The Elma Eagles recorded a staggering 35 aces en route to a straight-set victory over the Tenino Beavers on Oct. 1 in Elma.
Eagles setter Ella Moore led the way for Elma, breaking teammate Quin Mikel’s school record for aces in a single game with 10.
“She was serving really well,” Elma head coach Kendra Dunn said. “She was focused and played hard.”
Moore also had 20 assists in the 25-3, 25-13, 25-4 victory, most of those going to middle blocker Jalyn Sackrider, who had 12 kills to lead Elma.
“They all had really high energy and were having fun the whole time and I think that was a big factor,” Dunn said of the Eagles’ overall play. “We just kind of came out ready to play and played tough.”
— Ryan Sparks, Grays Harbor News Group
Lake Quinault 3, Oakville 0
Kariana Fowler had 13 kills to lead Lake Quinault to a victory in straight sets over Oakville on Oct. 1 at Oakville High School.
The Elks (7-1, 2-0 Coastal 1B) won 25-9, 25-13 and 25-5.
Sophomore setter Nevaeh Richards was a perfect 17-for-17 in service for the Elks.
Kiya Kalama also had a good night for Lake Quinault, going 12-for-16 in service with three aces and three digs.
Elks head coach Jody Lines said she likes the way her team is starting to gel as the season nears the home stretch.
“The girls are playing well together. They’re starting to come together as a team,” Lines said. “Our passing has been a lot better and overall, we are learning to communicate, which is our key.”
The Elks hosted Wishkah Valley in a league contest Tuesday, Oct. 8, but that match ended too late for this edition.