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By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Lyle-Wishram volleyball falls in close game to Stevenson

 

September 13, 2017

Jaryd Cline

Junior Amber Tompkins serves during last Friday's game against Stevenson.

The small Lyle-Wishram volleyball team gave the Class 1A Stevenson Bulldogs all they could handle on Friday in Lyle, but there were just a few too many mistakes for the Cougars to overcome in their first nonleague match of the season.

With just 10 girls and five who are returning varsity players, the Cougs battled back and forth with the Bulldogs but couldn't hang on down the stretch in each set of the three-set loss (18-25, 18-25 and 23-25) to the team 32 miles down the Columbia River.

Lyle-Wishram held leads in each of the three sets and scored five straight points to tie the third set at 23 in hopes of forcing a fourth set, but couldn't hang on after a long rally that went in the Bulldogs favor which led to the win.

The Cougars struggled at times, but also played really well at times. A big part of both struggles and success was the team's serving. The team as a whole recorded 16 service aces, including three straight from senior Morgan Bowman early in the first set that put the Cougs up 5-2. Junior Amber Tompkins also served back to back aces later in that first set to give the team a 9-8 lead and a Stevenson serving error ties the set at 13, but the Bulldogs scored the next five points and closed out the set 25-18.

The Bulldogs pulled out to a seven point lead in the second set at 18-11 but the Cougars pulled within two moments later and trailed just 20-18. Stevenson stopped Lyle's rally, scoring the next five points to take the set and go up 2-0. Junior Alex Miller had two service aces in the second set for the Cougars and added another in the closely contested third set.

Tompkins had three aces in the third and decisive set and senior Vanessa Ordaz had two straight aces that put the Cougs up 8-6 early on. Lyle-Wishram later was on top 9-8, but that was the last time they held the lead, although their furious comeback fell just short after the Bulldogs were able to steal a point after a long rally with the game knotted at 23.

There were also a handful of mistakes the Cougs made in their first full game that should be easy to fix, and there's no doubt that the team should only improve from there.

Along with the three aces against Stevenson, Tompkins contributed four kills and five blocks. Bowman, who led the team with four aces, had three kills and tied with Miller for the team lead in with seven service points. Senior Abby Hawkins made seven perfect passes to lead the Cougs while Tompkins and Miller had five perfect passes each.

The Cougars were in action Tuesday for their first Eastern Washington Athletic Conference match, playing White Swan, but results weren't available by press time. They return to the court for Friday's SunDome Volleyball Fest Tournament.

 

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