2B Volleyball: Vikings Claim First District Title in Five-Set Thriller Over Kalama
RAYMOND — Mossyrock earned their first ever district title here on Saturday with a knuckle scraping five set victory over Kalama in the penultimate contest of the 2B District IV volleyball tournament.
Unlike their regular season matchups, which the teams split down the middle with a pair of offsetting sweeps, the Vikings and Chinooks alternated set victories in the district title tilt. Ultimately, though, Mossyrock was able to emerge victorious with scores of 25-19, 19-25, 25-23, 18-25, and 15-10.
Mossyrock coach Alex Nelson picked an unusual word to describe the postgame mood of her team as they took turns passing the district championship trophy around.
“I would say relief. There were all full of fear and anxiousness to start the game because it was so important to them. They really wanted to win this game,” Nelson said. “They worked through those jitters and wound up with a victory. It was pretty sweet.”
Faith Mulligan helped set the tone for the Vikings with 25 digs, three kills, three assists and a 17 of 19 serving effort.
“She passed really well in serve receive for us,” added Nelson of Mulligan. “She ended up getting 39 serve receive passes.”
Payton Torrey added 17 digs and 11 kills in the win. Andee Nelson turned in 21 kills and 23 digs, while Hailey Brooks tallied six kills and 14 digs.
Nelson added that Morgan Houghtelling continued to be a steadying force for her team from both the middle of the court and the service stripe.
“She was one of our better servers on the night,” Nelson said of Houghtelling, who connected on 12 of 13 serves while dishing 33 assists and lofting 21 digs.
Nelson came away with even more respect for the Chinooks than she already had for the talented team from Kalama.
“They’re a solid team. We struggled a little bit serving and we also struggled with blocking, but that’s because they’re a good team. Good teams make you struggle a little bit,” said Nelson. “I felt like that adversity was good for us to go through It’s good for us right before state to have a challenging game.”
Although they’ve been to the state championship game three years in a row the Vikings have never been able to bring home a district title until this year. That hole in their resume was bothersome for a particularly competitive group.
“They wanted to be there. This was part of our goals. We do have a tough league as you can see since all four teams came forward in the district tournament,” said Nelson. “We definitely wanted to be in the district championship. We’ve been there before but haven’t really had success.”
Mossyrock will face Walla Walla Academy in the first round of the state playoffs on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at the Sundome in Yakima.
Toledo Bows Out One Match Shy of State
RAYMOND — Toledo put together its best playoff run in recent memory this season but wound up two sets shy of the state volleyball tournament with a pair of losses here on Saturday.
“I’m really proud of them. We’ve learned a lot and grown a lot,” said Toledo coach Candace Maier. “They’ve taken some huge steps and three wins at districts is a big deal for us.”
Wahkiakum swept Toledo with scores of 25-7, 25-19, and 25-13 to start the Indians’ final day of action in the District IV 2B Volleyball Tournament. Stacie Spahr notched six kills in the loss while Rylie Plilier added three kills and nine digs. Gracie Madill chipped in 11 digs and Emma Cline-Maier lofted nine digs.
That loss matched Toledo up against Willapa Valley in a loser-out contest.
Toledo took the first set, 25-20. The momentum did not last, though, as Willapa valley took the next three sets 25-19, 25-14, and 25-17.
“The second set still felt pretty good, to be honest. We were in it the whole way. Then it just seemed like we got tired. I don’t really know,” said Maier. “We just weren’t executing as well as we had been.”
Madill notched four kills and 10 digs in the season ending loss while Cline-Maier turned in four aces, four kills, and a 16 of 17 serving effort. Plilier added eight kills, Spahr added four blocks and a perfect serving mark on 15 attempts. Haleigh Holmes posted four kills for Toledo and Brynn Williams passed 13 digs.
Despite the disappointing loss Maier was enthused about her team’s future and saw the season, and her team’s fifth-place finish in the Central 2B League, as a building block.
“Absolutely, our season was a huge improvement over any seasons I’ve coached so far. I’m not sure when we’ve had a season this good,” said Maier. “We’re losing one senior but everyone else will return. I think we can build on this year and continue to grow.”