ILWACO - The Lady Fishermen volleyball team split a pair of matches, losing 3-0 at LaCenter Tuesday and sweeping White Salmon on Senior Night Wednesday by the same 3-0 score.
"We didn't play that well at LaCenter," Coach Grant Chinn lamented. "They had three strong hitters, and they pretty much over-powered us."
He had a much different take on his team the next night.
"We out-played and out-hustled White Salmon in every aspect of the game. We were all over the floor, didn't let very many balls drop, and were very much focused," Chinn praised.
Ilwaco took control from the get-go against the Lady Bruins. The strong and accurate serving of Marissa Janas and the slashing spikes of Nicole Adams set the pace early for the Lady Fishermen.
"Our morale and motivation was very high for this game," Chinn stated. The pep band and the ceremony honoring Ilwaco seniors, Michelle Wroble and Nicole Adams, had a positive influence on the team according to the coach.
Wroble played her usual steady game, serving well, blocking Lady Bruin shots at the net, and passing accurately when she was in the back row. Adams, as she has all season, led Ilwaco in kills with "at least a half a dozen" according to Chinn. She produced several spectacular saves and passed well in the sweep, supplying much of the on-court leadership for the team, also.
In game two White Salmon took a big lead, but the hitting of Katie Hazen, the serving and passing of Holly Hocking, and the back row play of Carly Taylor were instrumental in Ilwaco's come-from-behind victory. The serving of Amber Stanley in game two and Jessie Landeros in the first and last contests were a big plus for the Lady Fishermen, as well.
"Marissa [Janas] had one of her best nights of setting the volleyball," Chinn said of the talented sophomore. "And Holly [Hocking] made several shots just over their blockers for points. We played one of our better games," he concluded.
The Lady Fishermen needed a win to stay in the hunt for post season play. Victories over Castle Rock Oct. 27 and Stevenson November 1 would probably move Ilwaco into a tie for the number four berth for the District IV tournament. A loss would deny them a trip to District.
At LaCenter the junior varsity won the middle game of their match 25-23. Coach Lonee Fitzer had praise for the digs and serves of Tasha Nesbitt. The young Lady Fishermen also won the middle game of their match with White Salmon. Fitzer liked the serving of Bethany Heimbigner, Chelsea Ostgaard, and Landeros and the saves that Brianna Beller made.
White Salmon 15 23 17
Ilwaco 25 25 25