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By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Goldendale spikers sweep White Salmon to open season on winning note


September 13, 2017

Jaryd Cline

Abby Mains bumps the ball while Allison Gilliam looks on during a game last year. Mains had a team-best 18 kills against White Salmon last week while Gilliam connected on 20 of 21 serves with three aces.

The Goldendale volleyball team got in its first action by winning five of six sets on Sept. 5 at the Granger Jamboree, and extracted a bit of revenge with a three-set sweep over the Columbia High School (White Salmon) Bruins, who beat the Timberwolves to open last season.

"They played really good (Thursday) night. That was a solid team they beat," head coach Jodi Bellamy said.

The Timberwolves took the first two sets handily against White Salmon, winning 25-17 and 25-13 before a closer third set (25-21) that went in Goldendale's favor.

It was a dominant night serving for the Timberwolves, who served at a 95-percent clip and also recorded 12 aces as a team.

"(The serving) was huge and I think it really shows the kids how important it really is," Bellamy said. "I've been really trying to improve that the last few years because that hasn't been our strong suit.

"The thing that makes me really happy is seeing that Talia (Johnson), Allison (Gilliam), and Sierra (Plum) are leading the way there as seniors. That's really exciting," she added.

Plum served 12 for 12 and had two aces, Gilliam went 20 for 21 hitting from the back line with three aces, and Johnson was a perfect nine for nine and added an ace of her own against the Bruins. Senior Abby Mains also had a pair of aces and junior Tori Tallman led the team with four service aces on the night.

Along with the serving, Goldendale also enjoyed a good night hitting and passing. Seven players recorded a kill with 18 coming from Mains while Plum set the team up with 31 assists over the three sets.

In the jamboree two days earlier in Granger, the Timberwolves won two sets easily against both Toppenish and College Place, and split with Kiona Benton 25-20 and 20-25.

Goldendale again had success serving the ball with a 90-percent rate along with 22 serves throughout the six sets.

"I thought that as a whole group they did great at the jamboree," Bellamy said.

The Timberwolves are on the road again on Thursday for their first South Central Athletic Conference West match. They travel to Zillah for a 6:30 p.m. meeting with the Leopards.

Goldendale won in five sets last year on the road at Zillah, and Bellamy said the team will be honed in this week at practice to prepare for its league rival.

"They have a big hitter in the middle, a girls that's like 6-foot-2, so we're going to work on extending her and making her work," Bellamy said.

"We're extremely focused," she added. "We'll be (working on) great serving and great serve receive, we do a lot of drilling in practice on that. That has improved over last year already and we'll keep after it."

After Thursday's meeting with the Leopards, the Timberwolves are right back in action on Friday for a tournament at the SunDome in Yakima with the opening match starting at 9 a.m.

Goldendale then faces the Naches Rangers in its home opener next Tuesday with first serve at 6:30 p.m.


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