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By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Goldendale spikers set for big SCAC West contest Thursday against Naches

 

September 26, 2018

John Longfellow

Sophomore Taylor Rising slams down a kill during last Tuesday's five-set loss to Zillah.

The Goldendale volleyball team, fresh off a pair of nonconference wins, is set for a big South Central Athletic Conference West matchup with one of the toughest teams in the league over the last couple of seasons.

It's not the Highland Scotties, who the Timberwolves knocked off in three sets (25-5, 25-5, 25-17) on Tuesday night, but the Naches Rangers, who've had some big-time battles with the Wolves over the last few seasons.

Although both teams lost some key players from previous years, Thursday night's game between the Wolves and the Rangers should be another high-intensity match that will have playoff implications on the line.

"We are looking forward to taking on Naches this coming week," Goldendale head coach Kristen Lantau said in an email to The Sentinel. "Our girls will need to really bring it Thursday."

The Rangers, at 2-2 in SCAC West play, and the Wolves, 1-3, both as of Tuesday morning, sit at third and fifth place respectively in the seven-team SCAC West. Naches played Zillah on Tuesday and Goldendale Highland.

If the past has any bearing, Thursday's contest could be a thriller. Both teams lost key players to graduation, but no team in the conference has as strong a freshman class as Goldendale does this season.

Last year when Naches came to Goldendale, the Wolves hung on for a five-set win, but when the two teams met in the SCAC District Championship game in Granger, the Rangers prevailed in four sets.

Thursday night's game starts with the junior varsity contest at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity game around 6:30.

Kittitas

Goldendale traveled northeast last Thursday for a meeting with the Class 2B Kittitas Coyotes, a strong program from a smaller school. The Coyotes reached the state tournament in each of the last three seasons, finishing seventh last year in the 2B ranks.

Goldendale has beaten the Coyotes in each of the last two years, and things weren't any different this time around.

The Timberwolves took the match in four sets, winning 25-12, 20-25, 25-20, 25-22, with contributions from a handful of girls.

Against the Coyotes, City Mains went 16 of 18 serving, adding four kills and three blocks. Freshman Rachel Gallagher also had a good night at the line going 13 for 14 with three blocks. She also handed out 80 assists over the four sets. Sophomore Taylor Rising had a team-best 16 kills along with a perfect mark serving (6-6) and senior Tori Tallman chipped in with 12 kills.

Stevenson

Goldendale had little trouble with nonleague foe Stevenson, knocking the Bulldogs off in three (25-9, 25-11, 25-12) sets on Saturday in Goldendale.

It was the first time in recent memory the Wolves took the court against the team from up the Columbia River, and the home team used strong serving to build big leads and finish off the Bulldogs.

Junior Alyssa Weis hit on all 20 of her serves against the Bulldogs with five aces and 11 kills. Rising had nine kills and added two aces, while sophomore Olivia Erland converted all nine of her serves with two aces.

Zillah

The Leopards were in town last Tuesday night, looking to extend their winning streak on Goldendale's home court, and did so in an intense and thrilling five-set game.

In a hard-fought, back-and-forth affair, the Leopards snuck out a win on Goldendale's home court for the fifth straight year with their 27-25, 22-25, 25-23, 15-25, 15-12 win last Tuesday.

After Zillah took the first set in extras, the Wolves picked up their play and continued it throughout the remaining four sets.

"We played very well against a competitive team, and we're ready to see them again soon," Lantau said. "The girls continued to get better, and played with a competitive fire throughout all our sets."

Rising converted 18 of 20 serves against the Leopards and added 17 digs and nine kills. Weis finished with a double-double of 20 kills and 12 digs and Tallman added 10 kills.

The Wolves will be in Zillah on Oct. 11 for the rematch.

Up next

After Tuesday's SCAC West matchup in Highland and Thursday's at home against Naches, Goldendale will be off for the weekend.

They return to the court next Tuesday for a rematch with the La Salle Lightning, who swept the Wolves on Sept. 8 in Union Gap.

 

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