A trip to the Washington coast last week was just what Columbia High's varsity volleyball team needed.
The Bruins rallied from a 2 sets to 1 deficit to defeat the Ilwaco Fishermen in five sets Oct. 17, for their first Trico Division victory of the season.
"We played through some tough games but never gave up and found a way to win," Bruins Coach Kevin Liddiard said. "It was a great experience to work as hard as we have this season, travel all that way and come out on top."
Columbia (1-7 in Trico, 1-8 overall) opened the match with a 25-19 first-set win but stumbled in sets two and three, losing by scores of 25-19, 25-18.
The Bruins got back in the groove in the fourth set, however, edging the Fishermen, 25-23, to even the match at two sets apiece. They finished by winning the fifth-set tiebreaker, 15-13.
"We were down 4-8 when Kristie Morris went on a serving run that netted us six straight points, putting us back in the match," Liddiard said of the fifth set. "We seesawed back and forth when Ericka Ziegler got to serve out the last two points of the match, the final one on a short serve for an ace."
Liddiard praised his team's overall play, but especially the back-row passing of Brooke Hathaway and Michele Shrum, the blocking of Katherine Mosbrucker and Jenny Pulido, the setting and serving of Ilima Caldwell and Maree Jo Kettenring, and the vocal leadership of Robin Swanhuyser.
"The most inspirational player that night, however, was Chrissy Duniphin," noted Liddiard. "She was serving, hitting and digging the back row like crazy. Any loose ball--there was a flash of red hair and a body diving on the floor."
Columbia, however, wasn't able to build on its win at Ilwaco. Two nights later, La Center came to White Salmon and won a Trico encounter in straight sets, 25-12, 25-17, 25-22.
"We played better each game as the night went on," Liddiard said. "We were really tough in the third, and I thought we would get to go four or perhaps five."
He added: "When we played them up at their place the first time around, we neve scored more than 12 points [in a game]. I think this match, even though it was a loss, showed how much we've improved over the course of the season."
In junior varsity action, Columbia prevailed at Ilwaco by scores of 25-9, 25-22, 15-6, but lost to La Center by counts of 25-9, 25-18, 16-14.
Riverside Christian 3, at Lyle 0:
The Crusaders swept the Cougars last Thursday, winning the Greater Columbia B League match by scores of 25-13, 25-7, 25-22.
Standouts for Lyle included Kiera Murphy (5 kills, 2 blocks), Joelle Jackson (2 blocks, 2 aces, 100 percent serving), Jessica Struck (4 kills, 3 aces) and Carrie Nickols (1 kill, 1 block).
At Klickitat 3, Bickleton 0:
The Vandals improved to 6-1 in GCB matches last Thursday, beating the Pirates in straight sets, 25-13, 25-7, 25-11.
Aryn Davis scored 11 kills in 17 chances and served two aces while going 12 for 12 from the service line.
Melissa Huwe added four kills and led the team with five service aces on a night she put 24-of-25 serves in play.
Zoe Linder contributed four kills and two aces, and Kali Linville provided 13 assists and two saves.