Aberdeen’s Aaliyah Huila (10) returns the ball over the net Montesano during a game at Montesano High School on Wednesday. (Hasani Grayson | Grays Harbor News Group)

Aberdeen’s Aaliyah Huila (10) returns the ball over the net Montesano during a game at Montesano High School on Wednesday. (Hasani Grayson | Grays Harbor News Group)

Montesano defeats Aberdeen to move to 2-0 on the season

Montesano moved to a perfect 2-0 on the young season with a straight-set home victory over Aberdeen on Wednesday.

Montesano (2-0 overall) swept the match by scores of 25-13, 25-15 and 25-17 for its second victory of the season and was led by Emma Jensen, who had game-high nine kills against the Bobcats (0-2).

Montesano’s McKynnlie Dalan (12) punches the ball over the net in the third set of a match against Aberdeen on Wedneday at Montesano High School. (Hasani Grayson | Grays Harbor News Group)

Montesano’s McKynnlie Dalan (12) punches the ball over the net in the third set of a match against Aberdeen on Wedneday at Montesano High School. (Hasani Grayson | Grays Harbor News Group)

Montesano didn’t have much trouble in the first set and won the last five points of the game to go up 1-0 in the match.

Aberdeen offered a little more resistance in the second and third sets, however, as the Bobcats briefly held leads in both those games. Aberdeen was up 9-8 in the second set and also had a slim 11-10 lead in the third.

Montesano head coach Pat Pace said his players suffered from lapses in concentration later in the match and had to regain focus to close out the contest.

“We made some mistakes and we got caught not talking, not moving our feet and Aberdeen took advantage of that,” he said. “(My players) decided they needed to play at their level and we were able to pull things out.”

When Aberdeen was attempting to mount its comeback, the Bobcats’ Chantheada No was often in the middle of the scoring effort. The outside hitter led her team with five kills and committed just one hitting error.

Aberdeen’s Merryn Bruner also preformed well as a server with 10 aces.

Aberdeen head coach Doug Basler was impressed with the heart all his players showed when they found themselves down late in the match.

“I was pleased with the fight that we had. The first game was tough and the girls didn’t give up. They came back in games two and three,” he said. “They fought, which is what we’re going to have to do. We’re going to have to not quit and keep working hard, so I’m proud of the girls for doing that.”

The Bobcats comeback attempt fell short in part due to miscues on their side of the net. Aberdeen had 11 hitting errors in the match and at times struggled to cover parts of the court, allowing Montesano to score and pull ahead.

Basler said his team can’t afford to allow the opposition a chance for easy points.

“There were lots of simple mistakes where we were just giving away points. We’re so young and inexperienced that we can’t give away free points. We can’t bounce back from that,” he said.

Montesano’s offensive attack came from a few different players as five different Bulldogs registered at least four kills.

Pace said his back row of McKenna Wecker, Mylaina Parker and Carley Bradbury did a great job of setting up the setters.

“Those back row players are doing a great job adjusting on who is attacking us based on the power on the other side of the net,” he said. “They’re staying low and they’re digging the ball up for our setters. I think they’re doing well.”

Aberdeen’s next matchup is a home game against Shelton at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Montesano will head to Yakima this weekend for the Sun Dome Tournament on Saturday.

Pace expects his team to be hitting its stride when it returns from the road trip.

“There’s still going to be some adjustments being made. Jessica Stanfield and Zoe Hutchings are still trying to get their timing down,” he said. “We have a tournament this weekend and we should be catching our groove here in the next week.”

Montesano 25 25 25 – 3

Aberdeen 13 15 17 – 0

Top Players: Aberdeen – Bruner (10 aces), No (5 kills); Montesano – Stanfield (13 digs), Myah Gallinger (22 assists), Jensen (9 kills)