2B Volleyball: Napavine Edges Mossyrock for District Championship
By Matt Baide
RAYMOND — Napavine and Mossyrock faced off for the third time this season, but with a lot more on the line here on Saturday in the 2B District 4 Championship game. It was a battle with Napavine winning 3-1 over Mossyrock to capture the title.
“I couldn’t have asked for better play from my team tonight. They came in super focused and they had want in their heart and they played hard every single point, they never gave up one time. It feels amazing,” Napavine coach Monica Dailey said.
It’s the first district title for Napavine since 2014 when they swept Adna.
“It’s huge. Our seniors, they won a championship their freshman year, it’s a nice cap to their senior year,” Dailey said. “It was something that we’ve been working towards and we knew we had the capability to be able to do it, we just had to play our game. We knew Mossyrock was going to bring their game and they’re an amazing team. Take nothing away from them, we knew it was going to be a battle and it was.”
Mossyrock started off strong in the first set, but Napavine came back and took the lead and held on for a 25-23 first set win. The Vikings responded in the second set, taking control early and winning 25-19 to even the game at a set each.
“We knew that they wanted it to and we knew we couldn’t give them a chance. We had to start from the beginning and just keep pushing and not let up and not allow them to get any big runs on us,” Dailey said. “That was a our main focus and we’ve been working really hard in practice to have great serve/receive, great serving. We started off missed five serves that first set, yes, we were able to pull that win off but we were lucky.”
Napavine and Mossyrock were back and forth in the third set, with Napavine taking it 25-23. The Tigers used that momentum and built a 19-12 lead in the fourth set. The Vikings tried to rebound and force a fifth set, but the Tigers won 25-19 to earn the victory.
“I think we had some great rallies, I think we started off strong in our serving in the first two sets which sometimes we’ve struggled with so I was proud of them in the beginning. they’re a solid team,” Mossyrock coach Alex Nelson said. “They hit well tonight, Mollie (Olson) was a force in the front row and back row. We struggled in our passing, we eliminate our middles when we don’t pass as well, we had to go to our outsides and with their strong block, difficult to put away balls. I’m proud of their effort and hope to see the matchup again.”
Napavine and Mossyrock will compete next week in the state tournament in Yakima beginning on Thursday. Nelson said the strength of the league has helped the Vikings get ready for the best teams in the state.
“That benefits a team, makes for tough losses. It definitely benefits you in the long run, you’ve seen plenty of matchups and been in situations where you had to rally and change outcomes,” Nelson said. “Definitely gives us a leg up in that regard. Coming into the state tournament, I don’t think there’s a league as strong as ours with so many people representing and favored to be a top team.”
Could we see Tigers-Vikings round four in the state tournament? Based on the state rankings and how these two teams dominated the district tournament, it’s not out of the question for them to face each other one more time.
“I don’t want to jinx us, but that’s what I would love to see. You always want to see our league do well at state and everybody all year and the last two years have been saying it’s going to be you and Mossyrock at state,” Dailey said. “But first we have to beat those first few teams, we can’t look past anybody. Yes, I want to play them again, I really do.”