The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline

Wolves sweep La Salle, Win Burbank Tourney

Goldendale earns first SCAC West win with sweep of Lightning


Brittany Allen

SPIKE: Senior outside hitter Ocean Bryan led the Timberwolves with 23 kills in Thursday's sweep of La Salle.

The Goldendale High School spikers had little trouble with the La Salle Lightning Thursday night, but head coach Jodi Bellamy believes the Timberwolves can play even better.

Coming off a three-set loss to Naches Valley -- the No. 4 ranked Class 1A team in the state according to the Washington State Volleyball Coaches Association -- on Sept. 20, the Wolves cruised to their first South Central Athletic Association West Division win of the season, sweeping (25-12, 25-15 and 25-17) the Lightning.

Goldendale kept the Lightning defense on its toes all night, racking up 42 kills while hitting at a 43-percent clip. The Wolves also were sound defensively and had little trouble adjusting to the all the tips La Salle sent their way.

The team's serving, however, was what caught Bellamy's eye on Thursday. It wasn't a bad night for the Wolves in that department by any means, as they connected on 87 percent of their serves and added five aces, but Bellamy wants the team's percentage up in the 90s and wants to minimize the amount of errors from the back line.

"We missed more serves than we want to or I think the score would've been even better for us," Bellamy said after Thursday's game. "But we picked it up in the other areas."

One of those other areas was the fluidity of the offense. La Salle had no answer for senior outside hitter Ocean Bryan, as Goldendale came away with points seemingly every time she went up for a kill. Her hitting power and accuracy was unmatched Thursday, finding the gaps in the La Salle defense with ease and powering the ball with such force, that, even if the Lightning got a hand on the ball, there wasn't much they could do with it. It also was a jolt of energy for the crowd as well as the rest of the Wolves.

"When Ocean gets those big kills, obviously it really motivates and brings a lot of excitement to the kids, that's for sure," Bellamy said.

Bryan's game-high 23 kills were nearly always set up by the smooth passing of junior setter Sierra Plum, who contributed 35 of Goldendale's 37 assists. Plum also added six digs, two kills and an ace, while Bryan chipped in nine digs and finished with a .475 hitting percentage.

Bellamy also was excited by the contributions of junior setter/defensive specialist Talia Johnson, whose work on defense helped pave the way for many of Goldendale's points. She led the Wolves with 13 digs and added an assist and an ace.

"To see all the digs that Talia got, with all those (La Salle) tips ... she really got a lot of digs and didn't get beat one time," Bellamy said. "So that was really exciting for us because she's been working really hard."

Also on Thursday, Abigail Mains slammed home seven kills and Allison Gilliam also added seven kills and eight digs. Alyssa Weis had a team-high two aces while adding eight digs.

The Wolves were on the road for a crucial SCAC West matchup Tuesday at Granger, but results were unavailable at press time. The Spartans are the WSVCA No. 9 ranked Class 1A team in the state.


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