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College Volleyball: Blazers Ride the Roller Coaster at Bellevue Invite

By The Chronicle

BELLEVUE — Centralia College captured victories in four out of seven matches here over the weekend in order to triple their win total for the season. The showing marked another move in the right direction for the Blazers but coach Susan Gordon is adamant that her team should be able to achieve a smoother ride going forward.

“Our consistency is the thing that we’re working on the most right now,” Gordon said. “It’s like they have it in their head that if we make two or three mistakes, we’re finished.”

Centralia dropped their first match of the tournament in straight sets at the hands of Bellevue College. The host team dropped the Blazers with twin scores of 25-17, 25-17. As a result the stats were meager on the Centralia side of the box score. Macey Martin kept her teammates involved with 14 assists and three digs while Madelynn Skinner notched three kills and three digs. Olivia Mitten scored six kills, Skylah Kunihisa scored four kills, and Rachel Wilkerson had four digs.

Centralia bounced back Friday evening to defeat Walla Walla 2-0 before falling to Lane 2-0 to end their day.

“Walla Walla is a very good team and we were able to stay focused and play very well the whole match. It’s just that sometimes we get on this roller coaster of ups and downs,” Gordon noted.

Saturday started slow for the Blazers when they fell 2-1 to Columbia Basin. However, Centralia was able to defeat Green River, Lane, and Shoreline in three sets each in order to end the tournament on a high note. Against Green River the Blazers dropped the first set (18-25) before coming back to take the win with set scores of 25-20 and 15-10.

“Kinsie Miller came off the bench on Sunday and she just brought a different spark to the team. She played extremely well,” said Gordon.

Including the weekend’s results Centralia is now 5-5 over their last ten matches. The Blazers’ coach pointed to the matches against Walla Walla and Green River as examples of the kind of effort she’s longing to see from game to game and play to play.

“We are just not there yet. As I told the girls, it’s time to be there. We’ve been working on this enough and I’m ready for our consistency to be a lot better. It’s something that they need to focus in on and improve on,” Gordon said.

On Thursday the Blazers hosted Linn Benton for a non-conference match and fell 3-1 with scores of 31-29, 23-25, 14-25 and 17-25. Skinner registered 15 kills and 11 digs while Kunihisa tallied eight kills and 11 digs. Martin finished with a team-high 29 assists while Mitten swatted 16 kills.

Centralia College (6-17) will host Edmonds on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in a non-regional game.

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