Sara Hiebert is poised to deliver the final kill against Zillah.

The Gym is open, whistles are blowing, and the GHS Volleyball team is back! The season started on August 23 with practice and 22 players. Coach Tiffany Ferch again joins Coach Jodi Bellamy in running the JV and Varsity teams. Expectations are high, with nine returning letter winners from last years undefeated Tri-Co League and District Championship teams.

The Granger Jamboree provided a nice “shake off the dust” experience, as the Timberwolves played three sets each against Tri-Cities Prep and Zillah. Scores against Zillah were 17-25, 25-21, and 25-18. Scores with TCP were 24-26, 25-13 and 25-16. Rachel Gallagher picked up where she left off with a 47 assist, 23 kill, 14 dig, and 8 ace performance. Kennedy Berry was 22-22 serving and tallied 40 perfect passes with 36 digs. Sara Hiebert pounded 26 kills and was an imposing presence at the net with 10 stuff blocks. Taryn Rising was 21-21 serving with 10 perfect passes, 10K, and 18 digs. Gwen Gilliam had 7K, 24 PP, and 11 digs. Audrey Hill served up 3 aces, 15 digs, 6K. and 11 assists. Caitlyn Jauken had 2K, an ace and an assist. Brooke Blain contributed 6K and 4 stuff blocks.

Much growth and improvement is showing from Juniors Gwen Gilliam and Audrey Hill as they take on more playing time with last year’s graduation of Taylor Rising and Olivia Erland. Senior Natalie Schroder is contributing with good serving and defense. The sophomore “Timbers” Taryn Rising and Brook Blaine are hitting hard and getting better every day. The squad is rounded out with Jr. “all-around player” Caitlyn Jauken, Sophomore Lexi Molnar and Freshmen Brylee Mulroney, Ada Garner, Lydia Hanning, and Emily Tindall.

On Thursday, Sept. 9, the girls traveled to Riverview, an east side EWAC District opponent. The Timberwolves came out firing and made quick work of the Panthers. Set scores were 25-14, 25-9, 25-10. The JV team also won their match and looked great in their first outing.

Having left the SCAC 1A League, GHS has to make an extra effort to schedule longtime rival Zillah. On Saturday, the Leopards hosted the match, and the Timberwolves came to play! It’s very rare that the girls can beat their rivals in 3 sets, but it was all PURPLE and GOLD from start to finish. Berry and Gilliam consistently put the ball in setter Gallagher’s hands. She promptly set up some great balls for Hiebert (13K), Rising (3K), Blain (6K), and Gilliam (4K) to pound. Gallagher had 6K of her own and blistered 9 serving aces that frustrated the Zillah passers and really put the momentum on the side of the Timberwolves. Audrey Hill added 4 assists and 6 digs, solidifying her value on the ride side of the court. The team serving percentage jumped to 95% from the mid to high 80s in the first 2 outings. Great defensive play was anchored by Berry and Gilliam, with Rising, Gallagher and Hill improving their effectiveness from match to match! The JV team beat their Leopard counterparts and improved their record to 2-0.

The Timberwolves start EWAC League play this week with a pair of matches against White Swan at home on Tuesday and at Mabton on Thursday. It will be an exciting day playing in the Yakima SunDome Tournament on Friday the 17th, starting at 9 a.m. Spectators are allowed in the venues but must wear a mask. Come out and see the Timberwolves play! You’ll love it!


(K) Kill when a player terminates the ball on the opponent’s side

(A) Assist the person who sets the ball to the player who kills it earns an assist

(PP) Perfect Pass When the receiving team’s 1st contact goes right to the setter so all attackers can be set

Dig The defensive team digs a hard hit or smartly placed ball to stop a kill attempt

Ace A serve that hits the floor on the receiving side and or results in the opposing team being unable to pass the ball to the setter and it results in a point.

Stuff Block The front row players jump up with raised hands and arms and stop the opposing attacker from hitting the ball over the net. The block results in a point for the defense.

—Jodi Bellamy