ILWACO – Knappa beat Ilwaco 21-25, 25-11, 25-19, 25-23 Thursday, Sept. 5. Asu Herrera-Sanchez was a force to be reckoned with in the middle for Ilwaco, leading the Fishermen to the first set win. Knappa then got going, taking control of the match with brilliant serving. Ilwaco fought to try to force a fifth set. Ebby McMullin slammed down what would have been a brilliant kill to tie it at 24 in the fourth, but her feet landed under the net across center line on the play, a violation that gave Knappa the match point.
Herrera-Sanchez got going early, pounding the opening between the front and back rows of Knappa’s defense. Alyssa Marsh crushed a shot into the back row for a 23-19 lead. Herrera-Sanchez spiked a Knappa serve return after it bounced to her off the net, closing out the set.
Aiko Miller got on a roll serving for Knappa in the second set. Ilwaco also had some violations, and Knappa pulled away for the 25-11 win. Ilwaco continued reeling to start the second set and Knappa took a big lead. Herrera-Sanchez had another hard hit between rows, but Miller filled the gap with a diving stop, setting up Sophia Carlson for a kill to Ilwaco’s back row and a 6-0 lead. Knappa extended the lead to 9-0. Herrera-Sanchez swatted away a Knappa shot at the net for a kill, cutting it to 15-9, then cut it to 16-12 by forcing another diving miss in the middle. Faith Simonsen served Ilwaco some points, and Herrera Sanchez’s kill right on the back line cut the lead to 16-15. But Knappa stretched the lead again, winning the set 25-19.
Ilwaco took the early lead in the fourth set. Herrera-Sanchez hit a shot through two defenders at the net for Ilwaco’s first point. Alyssa Marsh served an ace, forcing Miller into a sideways dive that came a bit too late, to put Ilwaco up 3-1. Sophia Marsh’s ace down the sideline made it 8-3. McMullen made a two-handed push to get the ball over a drawn-in defense for a kill and an 11-6 lead.
Knappa turned the set around. Miller handled a hard shot by Herrera-Sanchez, leading to Taylin Regier’s kill that cut it to 14-9. Miller followed with an ace. Kourtney Tischer won a point at the net to cut it to 15-11. The Loggers led 20-16 at one point, and a spike by Dietrich made their lead 24-22. Abby Knopski kept the Fishermen alive, lobbing a shot cross-court to an abandoned corner to cut it to 24-23. On the next rally, Simonson set up McMullen. She caught Knappa off guard with a late leap and a redirection of the ball to a sideline opening. Ilwaco thought it had tied the set, but referees ruled that McMullen landed on the wrong side of the center line, giving the match-clinching point to the Loggers.