Hoquiam found the win column for the first time this season thanks to a strong game from Carsyn Munger in a 3-1 victory over Aberdeen on Thursday in Hoquiam.
Munger played big at the net as the senior middle blocker came away with 10 kills and four blocks as the Grizzlies (1-3) downed their Myrtle Street rival.
Hoquiam won 25-23, 25-21, 14-25 and 25-18 to push Aberdeen’s record to 0-4 on the season.
The first set of the match featured back-and-forth action as the Bobcats scored three straight points to tie things up at 23 apiece. Aberdeen showed signs of fight early on which didn’t come as a surprise to Grizzlies head coach Heather Bozich.
“The first two games I thought we did a great job of refocusing and getting our passes up. In that third game we missed a couple of serves and our energy disappeared,” she said. “Volleyball is a game of momentum and you have to keep the momentum on your side. Aberdeen did a good job. They are scrappy, served well and kept us on our toes.”
The second set went similarly for both teams as Hoquiam held on to the lead despite some long rallies, but Aberdeen stole a game in the third frame. Hoquiam’s hitters struggled in the set, hitting the ball out of bounds 13 times including six service errors.
On a night that featured 16 Grizzlies’ service errors, Bozich said her team struggled with the pressure of playing with a lead.
“Trying to get their first match win, they were thinking ahead. We started making silly mistakes and that’s one of them,” she said. “Honestly, I think they were nervous. They hadn’t been in that situation yet this year. This is a very young team and I think they just weren’t use to that situation. In that fourth game I was really proud of them for the way they came back.”
On the Bobcats’ side of the net, the back row scrambled well to limit Hoquiam’s points and extend rallies to score points of their own.
“Going down 0-2 and coming back in that third set was huge in terms of our confidence,” Aberdeen head coach Doug Basler said. “It showed that they don’t quit so I was pleased with that.”
Hoquiam bounced back in the fourth frame with a set that looked more like the first two as libero Hailey Lawerence concluded the match with an ace.
With the first two sets decided by less than five points, Basler said his team has to do a better job of stopping the other team’s momentum.
“We just need to buckle down,” he said. “We’ll get into four or five plays in a row where we just kind of lose focus. We can’t let them run off four or five points in a row when it’s that close.”
Aberdeen will continue the hunt for its first win at a tournament in Centralia at 9 a.m on Saturday.
Hoquiam’s next match comes at Rochester at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Bozich said she is hoping to see what her team is made of when it faces a 2A school in its next match.
“I want to see what we can play like that against a tough team,” she said. “We seem to rise up against tougher teams so I really want to see if we get intimidated or if we stand up to them.”