The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Andrew Christiansen

Battle heating up for positions in Gorge League


Andrew Christiansen

JUST GET IT OVER: There were plenty of moments when just getting the ball over the net was good enough in the match between Bickleton and Lyle-Wishram. Kiya Childers does the honors, above, but at times Childers also put some mustard on it with a team leading 11 kills on the night.

Last week’s volleyball matches in the Greater Columbia Gorge League made the standings a little more clear at the top and bottom while the middle of the league standings became muddy.

Bickleton hit the road with a win over Trout Lake in their pocket, but convincing losses to Lyle-Wishram, 3-1 and Klickitat, 3-0 put the skids to their ride. It wasn’t all rosy for Klickitat, either, as they dropped a tough 3-2 match at Trout Lake before rebounding with the home win over Bickleton.

Sunnyside Christian stands atop the league as the only undefeated team at 3-0 while Yakama Nation has yet to win at 0-4. The outcome of Tuesday’s matches wasn’t likely to add clarity to the situation. Trout Lake was at Sunnyside Christian, Yakama Nation was at Bickleton and Lyle-Wishram was looking to make their case as a contender at Klickitat.

The Cougars have the talent to make a statement win at Klickitat. If they lose, they become they another question mark.

The Cougars stumbled at times, but won convincingly over Bickleton. They broke away from the Pirates in the first game after tying the score at 18 on a kill by Ellie Smith. Suzanne McConville served up the final five points in the 25-19 Lyle-Wishram win.

The second game was close most of the way with seven ties and eight changes in the lead until the Cougars went on top 20-19. Again, they finished strong, this time with Kiya Childers serving five straight points before giving one back to the Pirates, who promptly put the next serve in the net for a 25-20 Lyle-Wishram win. Mandy Solomon scored three kills and three aces in the win for the Cougars. Both teams were in double digits with errors, 11 points given away by Bickleton and 14 by Lyle-Wishram.

Game three went to Bickleton 25-20 and featured serving gems by both teams. Bickleton’s Shaylee Tharp served nine straight points, including five aces, changing a 13-16 deficit into a 22-16 lead. Childers also had a hot streak with four straight aces earlier in the game. Lindsay Brown knocked down three kills off sets from Tharp, an attack that was absent through much of the night.

The final game was another close game with Lyle-Wishram winning 25-20. Childers served six winners on a perfect 25 for 25 service night. She also led the Cougars with 11 kills for the match. Smith and Lacy Carse split the setting duties with Smith credited with eight assists and Carse with seven.

Both teams ran into buzz saws in their next matches, Lyle-Wishram losing 3-0 to Sunnyside Christian, Thursday on the road and Bickleton dropping a 3-0 decision at Klickitat on Friday. The Cougars lost by scores of 25-11, 25-8 and 25-21 to the Knights. Childers again led with five kills and Smith knocked down four.

Bickleton’s young team was short a starter at Klickitat and had a rough time in the first two games, losing by scores of 25-12 and 25-8. The final game was more of a battle, but had a somewhat bizarre finish with both teams losing their serves over the final nine points, giving Klickitat a 25-21 win. The action at the net was entertaining with Brown and Tamaira Huffsmith firing kill shots and blocks at each other. Brown had four kills in the final game and Huffsmith had two. But, Klickitat’s front line out-performed the Pirates as Kenzie Schlangen also had two kills and Nicolle Oldfield had one.

The win for Klickitat put the Vandals back on the winning track after the loss at Trout Lake. It was an emotional win for Trout Lake who faced former teammates from Glenwood for the first time in league play. The games weren’t as close as one might expect from a 3-2 match. Trout Lake coach Angie Cox said her girls played their best defensive ball of the year with great digs and saves.

“One of our goals was to be more aggressive form the service line,” says Cox. Most of the Mustangs put up jump serves that proved to be a challenge to the Vandals. The Mustangs also came up big on the net against Klickitat’s power front with Peggy Reynoso making three blocks and McKenzie Wurtz having two.

Klickitat won the first and third games by scores of 25-14 and 25-12. Trout Lake was almost as dominant in their two wins by scores of 25-18 and 25-13. The final game went down to the wire before Trout Lake claimed the win 17-15 before a roaring crowd.

Andrew Christiansen

Bickleton’s Lindsay Brown launches into a shot at Klickitat.

Key matches on the horizon are Lyle-Wishram at Trout Lake this Friday for their first league meeting of the year (The Cougars defeated Trout Lake at the Sherman County tournament) and rematches on Tuesday between Klickitat and Sunnyside Christian and Trout Lake and Bickleton. Klickitat and Trout Lake will be looking to take advantage of their home courts to earn a split on the season in those matches. Prior to those matches, Klickitat will travel to Toppenish to play Yakama Nation while Bickleton gets a break from league play, taking on Kahlotus on Saturday and Mabton JV on Monday, both games on the road.


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