The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline

Goldendale spikers await district seeding


Jaryd Cline

SETTING IT UP: Junior setter Sierra Plum, left, sets up junior outside hitter Allison Gilliam for the kill during Thursday's loss to the Granger Spartans at Goldendale High School.

Sitting at fourth place in the South Central Athletic Conference standings as of Tuesday afternoon with one game remaining, it isn't too late for the Goldendale spikers to secure a home match for the district tournament which starts Tuesday.

The top four teams from the SCAC East and West division all earn a spot in the district tournament, while the top two teams in each division open the tournament with a home match.

Goldendale head coach Jodi Bellamy listed off the numerous possibilities of where the Wolves can finish and what needs to happen to secure a home match on Tuesday.

First of all, the Wolves need to take care of the Highland Scotties in their last regular season match of the season on Thursday at Goldendale High School.

The Timberwolves, at 7-4 in SCAC play, will honor their three seniors – Madison Cameron, Ocean Bryan and Becky Windom – against the Scotties, who have yet to win an SCAC match this season.

If Goldendale beats Highland, which they did on Oct. 4 in Cowiche, then it's up to Granger and Zillah, who played Tuesday but results were unavailable at press time. If the Spartans beat the Leopards on Tuesday and lose to Naches on Thursday, who's undefeated in SCAC play, then the Timberwolves will earn the No. 2 seed in the SCAC West.

If that scenario happens, Goldendale, Granger and Zillah will sit at 8-4 in SCAC play if the Leopards beat Cle Elum on Thursday. The Timberwolves own the tie breaker draw over each team, which was settled at the beginning of the season by the school's athletic directors.

No matter what happens, Bellamy explained, the Wolves can't finish fourth and can't finish first. If Goldendale finishes in third, they open districts with an away game at Connell, and if they finish second, they play at home against Riverview.

See page 16 in this week's Sentinel for an incomplete district bracket updated through Tuesday afternoon.

The Timberwolves enter Thursday's game with the Scotties after finishing 2-1 last week with wins at Cle Elum and La Salle, and a thrilling three-set loss (25-27, 27-29, 22-25) to the Spartans at home last Thursday.

Against Granger, the Timberwolves held a first set lead of 24-21 and a second set lead of 24-23 before the Spartans battled back to capture the opening two sets. In the third set, Goldendale trailed by as many as eight points before closing the gap late.

Goldendale struggled a bit from the serving line against Granger, with an 86 percent serving rate, which played a big factor in the game.

"When you're in a close game like our game with Granger ... two or three serves makes a difference," Bellamy said. "That's what we're working on this week is serving under pressure."

The Wolves finished with just two service aces, both coming from junior setter Sierra Plum, and committed 10 serving errors.

Against the Warriors last Saturday, the Wolves combined to serve 94 percent with 10 aces in the three set sweep. It's been said before, but if the Wolves serve in the 90th percentile, they are a very tough team to beat.

Earlier this season, Goldendale beat both Connell and Riverview in two sets during the Burbank Tournament on Sept. 24. The Panthers and the Eagles are potential matchups for the Wolves in Tuesday's district opener.


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