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By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Goldendale spikers drop third straight after La Salle loss

 

October 18, 2017

Jaryd Cline

Goldendale senior Reanna Holycross prepares to serve during the team's loss to La Salle on Tuesday in Goldendale.

The Goldendale volleyball team entered last week undefeated in league play and on top of the South Central Athletic Conference West standings.

However, a pair of tough hitting games from the Timberwolves against Zillah last Monday and Naches last Thursday dropped the team to third place in the SCAC standings as of Tuesday morning.

The Timberwolves remained in third place on the west side of the SCAC standings after Tuesday's four set loss (22-25, 25-21, 24-26, and 16-25) to the La Salle Lightning on Senior Night in Goldendale.

Goldendale dropped to 5-3 in SCAC play, behind the Lightning (second place at 7-3) and Naches (first place at 8-1) and tied with the Granger Spartans with four games left to play in the regular season.

The Lightning came ready to play, and took advantage of a Goldendale team that continued its poor hitting at times throughout the match.

It was a game filled with momentum changes, while the tough Lightning squad seemed to find an answer every time Goldendale started a run.

Goldendale jumped right out in front early in the first, going up 3-0 after freshman Taylor Rising's service ace. However, the Lightning tied it up with three straight points of their while the teams remained within three points of each other the rest of the set.

La Salle had a three-point edge (18-21) late, but was forced to call time and regroup after Goldendale rallied off three in a row with kills from senior Abby Mains and junior Tori Tallman. Goldendale scored the next point and led 22-21, but the Lightning ended the set with four straight points to go up 1-0.

The second set was all Goldendale early, with a barrage of kills from Mains. Senior Allison Gilliam also had a pair of kills in the second to bounce back after hitting two balls into the net in the first.

The Timberwolves led by as many as 11 midway through the set, but let the Lightning hang around. Leading the set 20-9, the Lightning got within three points of the lead (24-21) before Rising's kill gave the Wolves 25 and evened the match at one set each.

Falling behind 1-6 early in the third after an ace from the road team, Goldendale head coach Jodi Bellamy called time to recompose her team. The Wolves rolled after the time out, scoring eight of the next 11 points and tying the set at nine.

However, the gym at Goldendale High School went quiet after the Wolves tied the set at nine when senior setter Sierra Plum went down with an apparent leg injury. She was taken off the court, but returned to the bench later in the set but didn't reenter the game.

Senior Talia Johnson did a nice job of filling in for Plum after she left the game while the Wolves built a 20-17 lead after Johnson's service ace.

The Lightning once again had an answer though, scoring three straight to tie it at 20, and later leading 21-23.

Abby and sophomore City Mains teamed up on a block that evened the game at 23, sophomore Delaney Peters slammed a kill to tie it at 24, but La Salle rolled off two straight points to take the set 24-26.

The fourth set was a back-and-forth battle early with the Wolves going up 3-1, but that was the last time they held the lead. Goldendale tied it at six, but La Salle led the rest of the way, building an 11 point lead along the way.

Once trailing 9-11, Goldendale's deficit rose to 11 points (11-22) just moments later. Abby Mains had a pair of aces serving and the Wolves cut it to 15-22, but it was too little, too late as the Lightning escaped with the upset in Goldendale.

Abby Mains finished with a game-high of 20 kills, also adding 14 digs and three blocks in the defeat. Plum handed out 20 assists in limited action, while Johnson filled in with 12 assists while also contributing a game-best 22 digs and team-best nine perfect passes.

Gilliam had 13 digs and four kills, Peters finished with eight digs and seven kills, and Rising contributed seven digs and five kills. Seniors Reanna Holycross and Kylee Beam also came in and had some good serves. The two combined to go 9 of 11 serving the ball.

The Timberwolves already knocked off La Salle earlier this season on Sept. 21 in Union Gap, cruising to a three-set sweep (25-22, 25-23, and 25-19) over the Lightning behind 12 kills and 10 digs from Mains.

Goldendale then has a tough matchup at Granger on Thursday before ending the season with three games against relatively light league competition. They knocked off Granger earlier this season on Sept. 26 in Goldendale in five thrilling sets.

The Spartans are asking everyone attending Thursday's game to wear pink in support of The Side-Out Foundation and its Dig Pink initiative. Funds raised for Side-Out go toward a clinical trial specifically for patients with stage 4 breast cancer, the most advanced form of the disease and the least funded area of research.

If you are interested in making a donation to the campaign, visit http://www.giving.side-out.org/campaigns/13615.

After Thursday's road contest in Granger, the team is on the road again the next day. They wrap up the season at Cle Elum on Friday, at Highland next Thursday, and at home against Cle Elum on Oct. 28. Cle Elum and Highland have a combined league record of 1-16 as of Tuesday morning.

Against the Leopards on Oct 9, the Wolves struggles with their hitting and putting kills away. Goldendale hit just .124 and finished with 48 kills and 32 errors as a team.

"We just weren't at our best and sometimes that happens," Goldendale head coach Jodi Bellamy said about the Zillah match.

Jaryd Cline

Freshman Taylor Rising digs a La Salle serve during Tuesday's game. She finished with seven digs on the night.

Last Thursday, Goldendale was in Naches for a rematch with the Rangers. In the team's first meeting on Sept. 19 in Goldendale, the home team prevailed in five exciting sets in which the Wolves hit .237 and had 13 service aces.

On Thursday however, the Rangers took advantage of another poor hitting game from the Wolves and captured the match in three sets. Naches won 25-19, 25-14, and 25-21 while Goldendale hit just .071 and finished with 30 kills and 24 errors. The Wolves had a good night serving though, converting 53 of 57 serves, hitting at a 93 percent clip.

Mains led the squad with 13 kills and added 11 digs, while Johnson and sophomore Alyssa Weis tied for the team lead with 14 digs. Senior Sierra Plum also led the Wolves with 16 assists.

 

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