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By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

New coach Kristen Lantau and Goldendale spikers open season with win over Bruins


September 5, 2018

Jaryd Cline

The Goldendale freshmen spikers take a group picture with the new head coach ahead of Tuesday's season opening game against White Salmon. Top from left: Kennedy Berry, Sara Hiebert, new head coach Kristen Lantau, Rachel Gallagher, and Taylor Fahlenkamp. Bottom from left: Patricia Linebeck and Natalie Schroder.

The Goldendale spikers will look a little bit different this season with the addition of a new head coach and a crop of freshmen stepping in to help replace a strong group of seniors from last year's team, but the Timberwolves should still be one of the top and most exciting teams in the South Central Athletic Conference.

Goldendale will have a handful of fresh faces on the roster this season, but none bigger than new head coach Kristen Lantau, who made her head coaching debut Tuesday night in a nonconference matchup with the Columbia Bruins. Results from Tuesday night's game however, were unavailable when the papers had to be sent out.

A 2009 graduate of Napavine High School which is about 30 miles north of Longview up Interstate 5, Lantau came to Goldendale ready to get started in not only her first head coaching position, but also her first teaching position.

"I've kind of just been looking at jobs so I applied to be a para-teacher at the primary school," Lantau said.

She got the job at the primary school and will finish up her six-month student teaching requirement later on this school year.

Shortly after getting the primary school teaching job in town here, she saw the Goldendale volleyball head coaching position was open. Open since former head coach Jodi Bellamy retired late last year after the volleyball season, Lantau took the job early in the summer and had much of the offseason to work with and get familiar with the Goldendale girls.

"I've gotten a great response from the kids," Lantau said. "They're really excited to get this season started.

"We've been together a lot this summer so we've had that time to develop together," she added. "I think they all get along great. They have great senior leadership."

Tuesday surely was a busy day for the new coach with the first day of school early on followed by the first volleyball game of the season later that evening.

Against the Bruins Tuesday night, Goldendale jumped out to a quick two set lead after taking the first 25-22 and the second 25-17, but the Bruins were able to hang around.

White Salmon led by as many as four points midway through the third set and later held a 23-21 advantage over the home team. But the Wolves soared back for three straight points held a 24-23 lead while serving for game point, but the Bruins battled back for the 27-25 set win.

White Salmon again made things interesting late in the fourth in its bid to force a fifth and deciding set, but Goldendale held on 25-23 for the win on opening night.

After Tuesday, the team is off until Saturday where they jump right in to SCAC West play. They travel to Union Gap for a 1 p.m. matchup with the La Salle Lightning, a team Goldendale bounced from last season's district tournament to earn a bid to state.

As for early expectations, Lantau is expecting the Wolves to go out and take care of the things that they can control, both on and off of the court.

"Really, all I want from them is to leave everything out there and to work their hardest," Lantau said. "We work a lot on positive teamwork and how to be good leaders.

"Volleyball growth is one thing, but we really want to keep the culture of this team positive and have it affect them outside of (volleyball)," she added.


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