The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Andrew Christiansen

Vandals bring home the hardware...again


Andrew Christiansen

ANOTHER TROPHY: The Klickitat-Glenwood Vandals were presented with the eighth place trophy for State 1B volleyball. This was the 16th time the Vandals have qualified for State and this was their 12th time finishing with a trophy. Pictured in front (l-r) Julianna Quinton, Kyndra Mack, Jenna Blake, Madi Couch and Reyauna Guzman. Back row (l-r) assistant Jeannie Knott, head coach Jaecee Hoctor, Bailee Green, Nicole Oldfield, Barbara Schlangen, Tamaira Huffsmith, Tina Lambert, Katelynn Oldfield, Mackenzie Tuthill and assistant coach Bretta Curtis. The presentation was made by a WIAA representative at right.

Klickitat-Glenwood was off to a good start on Saturday, winning their 9 a.m. match against Republic to clinch their 12th State volleyball trophy. The only question remaining was, would it be for seventh or eighth.

It felt like the Vandals won their final match against Riverside Christian, but the score board said otherwise, It felt that way for good reason, the Vandals completely out-hit the Crusaders and led in every set by as many as 10 points only to lose in four, 25-21, 25-22, 25-27, and 25-22. It was a loss, no doubt disappointing, but the Vandals met their goal of winning a trophy at State.

The Vandals and Crusaders reached the trophy match after losing their opening round match on Friday. Klickitat-Glenwood lost to eventual champion, Pomeroy 3-0 while Riverside Christian fell to St. John-Endicott 3-1. Both teams won their second match on Friday and their opener on Saturday, which put them in the trophy round.

The Vandals were rolling in their opener against Pomeroy. The Pirates, who had lost just one match during the year, were fighting to keep pace with the Vandals and trailed 17-13 before finding their offense. They finished by serving 12 straight points for the win. The next two games were 25-9 whitewashes. Once the Pirates got rolling, Klickitat had difficulty handling serves and their attack melted away.

Round two was against a Providence Classical Christian team that proved to be more difficult than their record would suggest. The Highlanders took the Vandals to game five before succumbing to a 17-25, 25-12, 23-25, 25-20, 15-10 loss. The Vandal front line of Tamaira Huffsmith, Nicole Oldfield and Barbara Schlangen hammered home 40 kill shots and five blocks while Mackenzie Tuthill served up 35 assists to secure the win and survive to day two of the tournament.

With one hurdle left to secure a trophy, Klickitat-Glenwood continued to hit well against Republic. Huffsmith was 10 for 10 on serves, giving her 23 consecutive serves without a miss, going back to the Friday match. She was credited with 17 kills and Oldfield had nine in a 25-22, 25-22, 25-14 win.

Riverside Christian came into the match with an impressive record, losing only to Sunnyside Christian during the regular season and perhaps carrying a psychological edge over the Vandals, as a former 2B team. The Crusaders won the first five points, scoring a couple of aces in what would prove to be a key factor in the match. They stopped themselves with a long serve and then hit the ball into the net. From that point on, Klickitat was in every match and looked like the more powerful team.

Huffsmith tied the first game at 7-7 with a kill and the teams exchanged points. Juli Quinton served up three points and Bailee Green did likewise to put the Vandals ahead 16-10. They still led 20-18 before a couple of errors and some well-placed tips allowed Riverside Christian to take a 25-21 win. It was a pattern that repeated itself throughout the match.

The Vandals ran off to a 6-0 lead behind the serves of Schlangen and were leading 21-20 before falling to a 25-22 score in game two. Five aces by the Crusaders overcame an 11-6 hitting edge for the Vandals who were on the verge of losing in straight sets.

After giving up a couple of points, Klickitat-Glenwood jumped to another big lead in game three. Schlangen got them going with a 4-1 lead and Tuthill stretched it out to 12-4. The Vandals had a 14-3 hitting edge, but were facing match point at 24-20. Kills by Oldfield and Quinton sandwiched around a couple of Crusader errors tied the game at 24. Huffsmith scored the 25th point for both teams with a kill shot into the net followed by one that found the floor. A Crusader error put the Vandals at set point and Schlangen got the kill for a 27-25 win.

Game four was another hitting mismatch in favor of the Vandals. Oldfield led them to a 10-1 lead and Tuthill pushed it to 15-5 on serves. Huffsmith had five kills and Oldfield had two kills and two aces through that span. The Crusaders chipped away at the lead with a couple of aces and a rash of errors by the Vandals.

Trailing 21-16, Riverside Christian went on a seven point run off six Vandal errors and a blocked shot. Huffsmith scored one more kill, but the Crusaders finished the match on a kill and a well- placed tip for the 25-22 win.

Winning a trophy has become a standard for the Vandals, who were making their 16th appearance at State since 1992. They have made the trip to State in eight of the last nine years and this was their 12th trophy.

"We talked about it," says head coach Jaecee Hoctor. "It (winning a trophy) has been a goal of ours for a couple of years." The Vandals were one win short of the trophy round last year and didn't make it to the second day the year before. The last time they had won a trophy was in 2010, also for eighth place. In 2009 they were the fourth place team at State.

Andrew Christiansen

STRATEGIZING: Coach Jaecee Hoctor visits with her big hitter, Tamaira Huffsmith during a break between games against Republic. This was the first State trophy for Huffsmith, a senior from Glenwood, and the fifth for Hoctor as a coach.

One of the struggles this year was serving. It came on suddenly about the time of the first match against Lyle-Wishram in which they lost to the Cougars for the first time in at least 34 years. They missed on 10 serves in the crucial game of that match and Hoctor had the girls running laps in practice. They ran a lap for every missed serve in the previous match. Hoctor says they continued to miss serves and continued running laps. In the end, it may have helped. Not so much with the serving, but Hoctor believes the conditioning paid off, particularly in the District tournament. It looked like it helped at State, too, as the Cougars were hitting strong right up to the end.

Hoctor said she is proud of her team. "My girls battled through State to earn the eighth place trophy." Number 12 for the trophy case. Making it to State 73 percent of the time since 1992 and taking home a top eight finish 75 percent of the time is a record the Vandals look forward to continuing.


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