Prayer

Naselle players were down 1-2 at state when they paused for a prayer. The Comes won 3-2 to advance to the medal round.

YAKIMA — Naselle advanced to the 5th and 6th-place trophy round of the 1B WIAA state championships with a labored win over impressive Neah Bay.

It created one scoreline that, in this case, did tell the story of the match.

Naselle won 25-17, 15-25, 17-25, 25-17, 15-11. coming from behind at 1-2 to level the score on sets then drawing on some extra reserve to eke out the win.

The players also boosted their confidence with a prayer.

Down two sets to one, Naselle was playing well but unable to cope with the commanding presence of Neah Bay senior Oceana Aquirre, who even took over from her coach in the huddle to direct the time-out talks.

In the break, the Comet girls all trooped over the a side rail in from of the NHS fans where Brandi Terabochia, mother of libero Brynn, led them in a prayer.

Despite other noisy games happening around them, it seemed as if every eye in the Yakima Sun Dome was on them as they bowed their heads, and stood still as one.

Delighted Coach Rebekah Wirkkala explained afterward. “The girls asked if they could go pray with them and I said, ‘Yes, of course!’”

Brandi Tarabochia, who led the Comet cheers, beamed. “I tried to pray with them before the game but I didn’t get a chance,” she explained.

Fortified, Naselle resumed the court, won the next set to tie the match then in the last enjoyed an ace serve from captain Peyton Dalton and after a couple of slips two crafty and consecutive tip-over plays by Morgan Reitz to get to match point. Lauren Katyrniuk served and the Red Devils’ reply soared over.

Dalton screamed to her team mates let it go out — and the celebrations began.

Naselle plays Mary Walker School of Springdale, north of Spokane, in the trophy round.

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