ILWACO - With all four senior volleyball players on the court, Ilwaco cinched a 3-0 Trico-League victory over Stevenson at Aase Gym Thursday, ending the Lady Fishermen's inaugural season under Coach Grant Chinn with a 4-9 record (4-8 in league).
The win over Stevenson sewed up fifth place for Ilwaco, however, only the top four teams in league advance to post-season play. "We passed the ball really well tonight to Heather Hocking (setter) and Nicole Adams did an outstanding job of spiking for us," the coach said. "All of our seniors did just great and we finished on a positive note," he concluded.
Each of the Lady Fishermen's matches the second time through the Trico has been a marked improvement over their initial foray around the league, a tribute to Chinn and the girl's hard work.
In game one against the Lady Bulldogs Ilwaco fell behind 0-2, but digs from Mary Margaret Tomberlin and Hocking helped secure a tie at 4-4, only to fall behind again 4-7. Tomberlin took over from that time on, serving 12 unanswered points. Adams and Hocking had kills during that inspired run.
Marissa Janas served three more points and a block from Brittney Fox and more slams from Adams and Hocking lifted the Lady Fishermen to a 25-17 win.
Again falling behind in game two 2-6, Ilwaco vaulted back to tie at 6-all. A block from Michelle Wroble and four more strong serves from senior Tomberlin were the keys. The game was again tied at 12-12, thanks to three more sinking serves from Janas and the passing of Hocking.
Several miss hits from Ilwaco and the rally scoring stood at 12-17. Hocking's two service aces and Tomberlin's saves and spikes helped Ilwaco to tie again at 18-18. Tomberlin again toed the service line and knocked out six more points for the home team. Adams had three thunderous kills, Hocking added two more, and a missed Stevenson serve ended the game at 25-19.
The final contest of the season, Ilwaco followed the formula of falling behind early, 1-3. Katie Hazen served five consecutive points, Tomberlin four, plus Tomberlin had two kills off Hocking sets, and Adams made a great two diving saves to put the Lady Fishermen in a commanding lead at 11-4.
Moments later Janas had served four points and Fox blocked for a point to run the lead for Ilwaco to 17-7. 'Out of sync' described the next nine points as the Lady Bulldogs pulled to within 17-16.
Needing a point in the worst way, Hocking spiked a cross-court winner to again put Ilwaco in the driver's seat. Adams served four scores, Hocking had yet another kill, and Hazen made a point-saving dig to put the ladies within one point of the win at 24-22.
Argelia Mendez made the dig on match point, Hazen set, and Adams finished things off with another powerful kill to ice the win, 25-22. Fellow seniors, Hocking, Tomberlin, and Laura Herbold celebrated with Mendez at mid-court.
Chinn said of the win, "We served very well and deep, we improved on the court, as a team, and with our attitude. I am proud of what we have accomplished and am looking very much toward next season."
Of course, the senior volleyballers for the Lady Fishermen-Heather Hocking, Mary Margaret Tomberlin, Argelia Mendez, and Laura Herbold - will be missed and their efforts appreciated.
"We won!" was the first thing out of junior varsity coach, Laurie Hazen's mouth after her charges claimed their first match of the season against Stevenson, taking the games by scores of 25-9 and 25-13. Hazen had praise for Mendez and Herbold and for the play of Racheal Zimmerman and up-and-coming star, Becky Graff.
Stevenson 17 19 22
Ilwaco 25 25 25