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Class 1a Volleyball

La Center rallies to beat Columbia in five sets

Kalama visits Miller Memorial Gym tonight to take on Columbia High in the final high school volleyball match for the Bruins' four seniors.

Carah Concienne, Rachel Connolly, Maree Jo Kettenring and Lacey Kruse will lead the Bruins into action against the Chinooks in the SWW 1A League finale for both squads. The match will begin at approximately 20 minutes following the conclusion of the junior varsity contest.

Kalama (6-2) is tied with Stevenson (6-2) for second place in Trico Division standings. Unbeaten Castle Rock leads both by two matches in the win column.

Columbia, which won't make the cut for this fall's Southwest District tournament, could play a spoiler of sorts on its own Senior Night.

Bruins Coach Heidi Shultz is hoping the occasion will give the Bruins an emotional edge over their guests, who are looking to lock up the division's No. 2 seed in district.

Last Thursday against La Center, Columbia played with great emotion and intensity in pushing the visiting team to five sets.

"The La Center match was definitely our best yet," Shultz noted. "The girls really showed how far they have come this season."

But after winning the third set (25-16, with a six-point closing run) to take a 2-1 lead in sets, the Bruins couldn't finish the Wildcats off.

La Center led the fourth set start to finish, winning 25-11 to force a fifth set, then scored seven of the final eight points in the tiebreaker to win, 15-9.

"In the fifth game we got back on track and played tough until we got to 8 and then they pulled ahead because of our serve receive errors," Shultz said, "and in a game to 15, you can't afford to have too many of those."

Columbia took a 1-0 lead in the match with a 25-18 victory in a first set that it never trailed in. But La Center tied it up with a 25-20 win in the second, taking control of the set with a seven-point run that turned an 8-6 deficit into a 13-8 lead.

Concienne led the CHS offense with 15 kills and six service aces. She also had three blocks and a dig for the defense.

"Carah had an amazing game," Shultz said. "She had 22 hitting attempts and no errors."

Kruse contributed on both ends with seven kills and two blocks and four digs, Taryn Struck had her best offensive game with five kills in 10 attempts, and Andrea Helton finished with three kills.

Setters Kettenring and Adrianne DeLay also played outstanding two-way volleyball for the Bruins. Kettenring doled out a team-high 21 assists while going 12-for-12 from the service line, and DeLay tallied nine assists, three aces, four digs and two blocks.

Standouts on defense included Kellyn McCutcheon (13 digs), Gaby Duniphin (8 digs, 1 block) and Connolly (2 digs).

Stevenson 3, at Columbia High 0:

The Bulldogs knocked off the Bruins, 25-15, 25-17, 25-16, in Miller Memorial Gym last Tuesday.

Shultz said Adrianne DeLay had "a good all-around game" for the Bruins, with seven assists, three digs and two aces on 14-of-14 serves. Maree Jo Kettenring added seven assists and an ace while serving 9 for 9.

"Adrianne and Maree Jo both are such assets at the setter position," Shultz noted. "Their hustle creates opportunities for our hitters, they make very few errors and both are positive people."

Lacey Kruse (6), Carah Concienne (4) and Andrea Helton (2) benefitted the most from the play of CHS's setters, combining for 12 of the Bruins' 13 kills.

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