ILWACO — Ocosta gave Ilwaco its first league loss, beating the Lady Fishermen 25-14, 25-20, 25-21 Tuesday, Oct. 15. The Wildcats, Ilwaco’s toughest league opponent to this point, won the opening set handily and outlasted the home team after tough battles the next two sets. Ocosta was 8-2 overall and 4-1 in league play by week’s end. Ilwaco had been off to its first 3-0 start in 37 years and dropped to 6-3 overall with the loss.

Ocosta burst out of the gate with leads of 17-4 and 20-6 to easily take the opening set. The Cats stayed on offense in the second set, taking an 8-3 lead with some overpowering kills. With Ilwaco still trailing 14-9, Alyssa Marsh sparked a 10-2 run with a hard kill, followed by a win at the net by Sophia Marsh. Kylie Gray kept things going with a kill from mid-court that dropped in-bounds in the corner, tying it at 15. After a few misses by Ocosta, Ilwaco suddenly had a 19-16 lead. But the Fishermen started missing a few shots of their own, and Ocosta came back to win the set.

Alyssa Marsh gave Ilwaco an 8-7 lead in the third with a kill through a double-block. Sophia Marsh put the Lady Fishermen back on top at 11-10 with an overpowering cross-court kill. Abby Knopski followed with a pair of aces. Ocosta’s Layne Martin then hammered a hit through two blockers, but Kylie Gray made the diving stop, bumping it over to a mid-court opening for a 14-10 lead. A spike by Gray stretched the lead. Setter Jaymie Patana then caught the Cats napping with a quick shot to a mid-court opening, making it 17-10.

Ocosta responded right away with a stretch of efficient play, winning several rallies on Ilwaco errors as they went on a 14-2 run to go up 23-19. Emily Snider tapped a shot over the net for a kill to clinch the win.

Ilwaco will visit Pe Ell Thursday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. and hosts first-place Willapa Valley Oct. 28.

Aaron Mead is a sports writer for the Chinook Observer. Contact him at 360-642-8181 or aaroncmead@gmail.com.

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