ILWACO — The Lady Fishermen’s bugaboo this season — a slow start — struck once again as the visiting Seton Catholic Cougars got out to 7-0 lead in game one, on their way to a 3-0 win last Thursday.

“Their hitters are the best at making the kill that we have seen this season,” coach Eric Cummins explained after Seton Catholic won 25-9, 25-20 and 25-9.

“We still have too many unforced errors, but Noelle McPhail had the most outstanding match of the year and we moved the best as a team in this match.”

Ilwaco’s Hannah Ellsworth had a kill off an assist from Darian Johnson, middle blocker Abigail Bentley and outside hitter Jasmine Coffin scored points from blocks and Breanna Kondos had a pair of clutch digs to help Ellsworth get another kill in the first set. Three missed serves by Seton Catholic and two net violations gave the Lady Fishermen their other points in game 1.

In the second set Ilwaco fell behind 6-0 and they were down as much as 17-7 before playing some of their most inspired volleyball of the season against the athletic Cougars. Ellsworth served a pair of aces to spark a 3-0 run and Coffin had three kills and Rachel Thrasher added a pair of spikes for points during a 6-0 Ilwaco burst to help make the score 21-16. Ellsworth had a kill and served a pair of aces and Coffin added an ace to make the score 23-20, but then Seton Catholic pulled out the set 25-20.

“The team has improved so much. I played so much better tonight than I did in our first match at Naselle. Oh, yeah, I feel great when I make a block. I think, ‘I did just what our coaches tell me I’m supposed to do’ and that feels amazing,” Bentley said.

“I have been working on my serves and being able to dive for tips and being more confident. The feeling I have when I make a kill is unexplainable,” Thrasher stated. The senior played well at the net, despite feeling somewhat under the weather.

Ilwaco led 2-1 in the third set after Ellsworth had a kill, but the Cougars’ strong net play helped them fashion a 16-8 lead and an 8-0 run from that point on doomed the Lady Fishermen. McPhail had a season-high 11 digs and her passes were picture-perfect to setter Johnson, who dished out seven assists for Ilwaco.

Ellsworth had a strong match, serving four aces and smacking down eight kills. Coffin contributed four kills and an ace and had a career-high four blocks. Thrasher had four kills and she hustled for seven digs.

Ilwaco countered Seton Catholic’s powerful hitting game with a season-high 44 digs. Ellsworth had three, Kondos four, Franziska Feil had five, Jennifer Navarre added five and Johnson scooted for six saves in the match.

“We tried hard as a team, but could have played better at the start of the match. I served well, which is something I have been working hard in practice to get better at,” Kondos related.

For the Cougars, Natalie Pederson dished out 10 assists and Kat Ahloo passed for 16 and had six kills of her own. Ashley Watkins had 11 digs and 12 kills and Ena Langevin had six kills for the visitors.

The Cougars had 10 service aces to five for Ilwaco, but Seton Catholic whiffed on nine serves, while the Lady Fishermen had a season-low five missed serves in the three sets. The powerful Cougars smacked 33 kills to 15 for Ilwaco and had six blocks, while the Lady Fishermen had eight blocks with Coffin having four, Bentley three and Thrasher one.

Ilwaco is now 0-6 in the Trico and 0-7 for the season, while Seton Catholic improves to 4-2 and is tied for second place in the Southern Division of the league. The Cougars only suited up 11 players so there was no junior varsity match.

Seton Catholic 25 25 25

Ilwaco 9 20 9

Lady Wildcats roar to 3-0 volleyball victory

LA CENTER — The Lady Wildcats roared to a 3-0 Trico 1A League volleyball victory in La Center Oct. 3. “We didn’t play that bad or that exceptional. This wasn’t our worst match of the season and it was not one of our better. La Center is one of the top three teams in our league and they played like it as their game certainly has picked up,” coach Eric Cummins pointed out.

The Lady Wildcats swept with scores of 25-6, 25-3 and 25-7. Abigail Bentley led Ilwaco with a pair of blocks, Hannah Ellsworth and Jasmine Coffin each had three kills and Adrian Johnson led in assists with six. Noelle McPhail continued to “track down the ball” according to Cummins. “Noelle has played her best volleyball of the year these last two matches,” he said of the Lady Fishermen libero.

Breanna Kondos and Rachel Thrasher played well in the front row and Thrasher led Ilwaco in serving. Franzi Feil contributed from her position in the back row according to coach Cummins. For the Lady Fishermen junior varsity, which also lost 3-0 to La Center, Allison Bonney, Riley Wert and Taylor Adams were standouts.

For La Center, Alyssa Carnes served 6 aces and had 6 kills, Morgan Micheletti scooped up 11 digs and Kaela Carnes was stellar at the net with 4 blocks and a game-high 13 kills, while Emma Yates dished out 24 assists.

Ilwaco is now 0-7 in the Trico and 0-8 for the season, while La Center improves to 6-1 and 8-1 overall. The Lady Wildcats are atop the Trico Southern Division standings.

Ilwaco 6 3 7

La Center 25 25 25

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