The Greater Columbia 1B League volleyball season is in full swing now. Last week, the Lyle/Wishram Cougars played a full slate of two matches, with mixed results.
Lyle/Wishram entertained Bickleton on Oct. 1, and the home-court advantage gave the Cougars a boost.
The match went four sets, and they were all competitive. The Cougars won the first set, 25-19, and the second, 25-20, to put the burden on the Pirates.
Bickleton responded in the third set with a 25-20 win of its own to shift some of the pressure onto Lyle/Wishr-am. The Cougars handled it well enough to claim the fourth set, 25-21.
Cougars Coach Lori Smith cited the play of Kiya Childers, Mandy Solomon, Ellie Smith, and Lacy Carse as instrumental in securing the tough home win.
Childers tallied a team-best 11 kills as part of a balanced attack. Smith and Carse each scored six kills, and Solomon nailed five. Smith and Carse also contributed as setters for the offense, passing for eight and seven assists respectively.
Moreover, the Cougars en-joyed great success from the service line. Childers was 25 for 25 with seven aces. Solo-mon found her groove too; she served four aces and was errorless in 13 attempts. Smith and Carse both scored two aces.
Two nights later at defending GCB champion Sunny-side Christian, the effort was there but the Cougars fell short of forcing the match to a fourth set.
Lyle/Wishram quickly dug itself into a hole last Thursday, dropping the first two sets, 25-11, 25-8. But the Cougars went down swinging, pushing the Knights before finally succumbing, 25-21.
The absence of a consistent offensive attack hampered the Cougars. Three of their top hitters were limited to 11 total kills against a tall, active Sunnyside Christian front line. Childers mustered five kills and a scoring block, Smith scored four kills, and Solomon tallied two.
Nor could the Cougars capitalize on the serving of Carse (10/11, 3 aces), Chil-ders (8/9, ace), or Solomon (100 percent serving).
Coming up: Lyle/Wish-ram visited the Klickitat Vandals on Tuesday, travels to Trout Lake tonight to face the Mustangs, and hosts the Yakama Tribal Eagles in Lyle next Thursday, Oct. 17. All three matches are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.