TAHOLAH — Jackie Steenerson’s power hitting was too much for Taholah in the first round of the District tournament. Steenerson led Naselle to a 25-9, 25-23, 25-16 victory over Coastal League two seed Taholah Tuesday, November 5.

Early on in the game, Steenerson pounded away from the right outside spot across court to the opposite corner. The spot kept being open, and her velocity simply beat the defenders’ ability to read and react.

Steenerson’s first kill gave Naselle a 6-3 lead and she quickly took control. She mixed in a few straight-down smashes with her devastating cross-court shot, leading the way as the Comets built an 18-5 lead and went on to win 25-9.

A more balanced attack had the Comets up 7-0 early in the second, but the Comets started missing with their hits and Taholah tied it at 16. Steenerson followed with a downward smash for a kill, then another corner kill, but the Chitwhins kept it close. At 24-23 Hollie Haataia nailed a shot on the sideline and got the call after some consultation by the referees, putting Naselle up two sets to none.

Midway through the third Echo Cenci had a spectacular defensive sequence, digging out a spike attempt and following with a diving over-the-shoulder dig; Kylee Tarabochia finished off the point with a hit through the hands of the front row defender for a 10-7 Naselle lead. On a free ball, Steenerson ran a give-and-go with Dalton and zipped her shot off the defender’s hands for the 20-15 advantage.

Cenci finished off the match with a shot across the front of the net to the sideline.

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

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