Lady Fishermen win three straight at Rainier

<I>DAMIAN MULINIX file photo</I><BR>After going down 0-2 at Rainier, the Lady Fishermen came back to win three straight to beat the Lady Mounties 3-2 Thursday.

RAINIER - Trailing Rainier 0-2 the Lady Fishermen "got in their face, frustrated them with blocks, and made some good shots" to defeat the Lady Mounties in Rainier Thursday according to Coach Grant Chinn.

Ilwaco had dropped the first two games by identical 18-25 scores to Rainier. Although he could not put his finger on any one key play, Chinn said, "The key to our turnaround was that we got ahead and stayed ahead in each of the final three games." He added, "We were able to play our game."

The turnaround forced Rainier to lose their momentum, often hitting balls just outside the line or into the net that they had been putting down for points in the early going.

Katie Hazen's net play was especially effective, blocking several of the Lady Mounties best shots and tipping several balls over for critical points. Cassandra Delaney blocked three shots and Heather Hocking had five kills during the match, adding some teeth to the Lady Fishermen's power game.

Chinn had praise for Merrissa Janas' setting ability and overall floor play. With three points to go in the crucial fifth game, Janas twisted her ankle but gamely got up to help win the points that gave Ilwaco a 16-14 overtime edge. The Lady Fishermen won game three by a score of 25-20 and game four was also close at 25-21.

Carly Taylor as outside hitter knocked down several important hits according to the coach. Janas served four aces, Delaney three, and Hocking two in the Southwest Washington league victory. Rachael Zimmerman continued to play consistent volleyball and was 100 percent with her serving accuracy for the match.

"We played some of our best volleyball of the season," Chinn said of the winning effort at Rainier. "Our court coverage was great, the girls communicated much better, and most importantly they were determined."

The junior varsity continues to play excellent volleyball. The young Lady Fishermen followed the varsity pattern of falling behind early, losing game one 17-25. Like the varsity they roared back with 25-15 and 15-9 wins to secure the match and move their season record to 3-2. Tatiana Bullock and Jenny VanOver played well up front, Bethany Heimbigner showed a strong serve, and Tara Hankins and Angela Kimbrough had outstanding floor games.

Ilwaco is now 2-4 overall and 2-3 in league. They visited Onalaska Tuesday, will host Toledo Thursday, and visit Winlock Oct. 12. All are league matches and a sweep would put the Lady Fishermen in the hunt for post season play.

Lady Fishermen seventh at Ocosta TourneyOCOSTA - Ilwaco ran into rough sailing at the Ocosta volleyball tournament Saturday. The Lady Fishermen were drowned out in pool play, losing six matches without a win.

In the consolation round of the tourney they had better luck, defeating South Bend 25-23 before succumbing 18-25 and 10-15. The Lady Fishermen then swept by host Ocosta 25-18 and 25-8 to claim seventh place.

In pool play Ilwaco was defeated by Willapa Valley, Wishkah Valley, North Beach, South Bend, Ocosta, and Rochester. The only team they were not scheduled to go against was Aberdeen.

Coach Grant Chinn said his focus was in getting prepared for SWW League games and that his team "improved throughout the day" at Ocosta. He had praise for the passing of Kelly Bateman. Chinn said Cassandra Delaney had seven kills and was "very much improved with her net play."

Chinn pointed out that Katie Hazen continues to block and hit the ball well and Merrissa Janas and Carly Taylor set the ball effectively and played strong floor games at Ocosta.

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