In its fourth SWW 1A Trico Division volleyball match of the season, Columbia High's varsity earned its first victory last Thursday, sweeping Ilwaco, 25-19, 25-12, 25-13, in Miller Memorial Gym.
"The girls played really well after the first game," said Bruins Coach Heidi Shultz. "This week we are away at Kalama on Tuesday, another strong team, and (division-leading) Castle Rock on Thursday. Hopefully we bring our best game with us to both."
Against the winless Fishermen, the Bruins (1-3 in Trico, 3-4 overall) dominated at the net and used deft serving to snap their own Trico losing streak.
All told, the Bruins' offense registered 25 kills and 25 service aces against the Fishermen's defense.
Middle blocker Lacey Kruse led the offense with seven kills and a season-best nine service aces (out of 16 serves put in play). Outside hitter Gaby Duniphin had another solid match with six kills and two aces, libero Kellyn McCutcheon tallied seven aces (as did Adrianne DeLay) and two back-row kills, and front-row hitters Carah Concienne and Taryn Struck each recorded four kills.
DeLay sparked the defense with 10 assists and a block, Maree Jo Kettenring provided eight assists, Kruse had a block and Duniphin got credit for a dig.
The first set was tight until Kruse stepped to the service line with CHS in front, 13-12. The Bruins netted six consecutive points off the senior's serve, including four straight aces, to take a 19-13 lead that the Fishermen narrowed to 22-19 before CHS finished them off.
Columbia led the second set from start to finish, beginning with an opening 9-0 run. Ilwaco got within four points on two occasions but no closer.
In the third set, the Bruins seized the advantage during a seven-point run that featured four aces by Kruse and two Concienne kills.
At La Center 3, Columbia High 1:
The host Wildcats won the first set of last Tuesday's Trico match, 25-16, lost the second, 25-17, then put the Bruins away, 25-14, 25-19.
"We were very competitive with La Center," Shultz noted, "and won one game but, otherwise, we made a few too many mistakes."
Columbia's offense found the floor for 24 kills and produced nine aces in the serving game to keep the pressure on La Center's defense.
Lacey Kruse scored a team-high seven kills, Carah Concienne and Gaby Duniphin each talled six kills, Rachel Connolly had three and Kellyn McCutcheon added two.
CHS's top scoring servers were McCutcehon and Adrianne DeLay with three aces apiece, and Maree Jo Kettenring with two aces.
Defensive standouts for CHS included DeLay (13 assists, 4 digs, 2 blocks), Kruse (4 blocks), McCutcheon (5 digs), Concienne (4 digs) and Kettenring (2 digs, 1 block, 9 assists).