It’s been more than four years since Montesano has tasted volleyball victory over East County rival Elma, which made the Bulldogs’ 3-1 victory Tuesday that much more pleasing.
Montesano ended a losing streak to the Eagles that dated back to Oct. 13, 2016, with a 25-12, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20, victory at Montesano High School.
Elma won the extra-play set 15-7.
“My freshman year was the first year we lost to them and ever since then we’ve been battling with them,” said Montesano senior outside hitter Jessica Stanfield, who had a game-high 16 kills in the match.
Stanfield, whose intimidating finishes from the outside are a focal point for opposing defenses, had more than enough help Tuesday. Monte middle blocker Addie Winter recorded 12 kills, and setter Myah Gallinger had a game-best 31 assists as she helped to quarterback the Bulldogs’ offense.
“She’s working her butt off out there because she wanted to beat Elma real bad,” Monte head coach Pat Pace said of Gallinger. “If anyone was getting a workout out there, it was Myah. You could tell how much she wanted it because she wore all her emotions on her sleeve.”
A back-and-forth Game 1 early on turned Monte’s way when the Bulldogs stretched a lead out to 22-11 on a Winter block, eventually closing out the set at 25-12.
Elma (3-1 overall) fared better in the second set, tying the score at 13-13 on a kill from middle blocker Sarah Bridge.
But anytime the Eagles got close in the set, Stanfield appeared with one of her signature kills that looked like it was shot out of a howitzer. Stanfield kills gave Monte leads of 16-13, 17-15 and 20-18 to keep the Eagles just out of reach.
The Bulldogs (4-0) closed out the set on an ace from Madeline Shields to go up 2-0 in the match.
But Elma responded with a hard-fought third-set victory. Down early in the set, the Eagles rallied from down 17-13 by scoring six straight points, highlighted by an Aalihya Ostrom ace to tie the game at 17, followed by kills from Jamison Carrell and Hannah Warren to give Elma a 19-17 lead.
Monte rallied to tie the set at 20-all after an Elma shot sailed long, but the Eagles won five of the final eight points, winning the set on an off-net kill from libero Kayla Aho.
In the fourth set, Monte took an early 7-1 lead, but Elma rallied to tie the game at 17-all. Elma’s fortunes turned when a net violation followed by two aces from Monte’s Olivia Young gave the Bulldogs a 20-17 lead that forced an Elma timeout.
Elma pulled to within a point at 20-19 after a Sarah Bridge ace, but as the Bulldogs did much of the evening, when Elma got close, they responded. Montesano ran off five of the final six points to win the game 25-20 and the match 3-1.
“We just knew our energy needed to be up and to watch the holes that they were pushing at us,” Stanfield said of her team’s response after losing the third set. “We’ve been working as a team coming together to finish off with a win.”
Elma was led by Bridge’s 13 kills, Ella Moore’s 23 assists, and Aho, who led the Eagles with 19 digs.
“It’s really hard coming back down two sets and I’m really proud they came back that third set because they played great. I think they had a lot of fight in them and they wanted to come back and make it happen as a team,” Elma head coach Kendra Dunn said. “(Monte) played well tonight. Just focusing on our side and what we can control, (Monte) loved the corner shots and that will be something we will focus on.”
In a season in which there are no district and regional tournaments to look forward to, Montesano was thrilled to put the losing streak against their East County rival to bed.
“Playing Elma is the season for our girls. These seniors have been in the program every year Elma has beat us. If you ask the seniors, this will be one of the highlights of their senior year,” Pace said after commending Dunn on the job she has done with the Elma program. “Hopefully, we can beat them on Thursday so we can say we beat them (2-0) in league.”
Hoquiam 3, Tenino 0
Hoquiam defeated Tenino in straight sets Tuesday in Tenino for the Grizzlies’ second-straight victory.
Hoquiam (2-3) won 25-16, 25-9 and 25-15.
The Grizzlies were led by Hailey Lawrence (10 digs, four aces), Chloe Kennedy (12 kills), Ella Folkers (15 assists) and Carron Blood, who had a 12-point service streak that included 10 aces in the third and final set.
“We played really well as a team tonight, really focusing on the fundamentals and transitions,” Hoquiam head coach Heather Bozich said. “I thought we kept our energy level up throughout and worked on a quicker offense.”
Black Hills 3, Aberdeen 0
A lackluster performance led to an Aberdeen straight-set loss to Black Hills on Tuesday in Aberdeen.
“We came out flat and every aspect of our game was off,” Aberdeen head coach Desiree Glanz said of the Bobcats’ 25-15, 25-8 and 25-18 loss. “We let (Black Hills) control the game and we chased in many of the plays.”
Merryn Bruner had five assists, with Nayseth Barragan and Michelle Jauregui adding two kills apiece to lead Aberdeen.
With the loss, Aberdeen drops to 1-4 overall.
Ocosta 3, Chief Leschi 1
After dropping the first set, Ocosta (1-4) rallied to win three straight to earn its first victory of the season over Chief Leschi on Tuesday in Westport.
“We started out flat in the first set and got behind early. The team came out in set two with added focus and a plan to execute on offense, which continued the rest of the night,” said Ocosta head coach Erin Snider after getting her first win as Wildcat coach. “It’s a good night and hopefully the first of many.”
Ocosta won 22-25, 25-16, 25-8 and 25-18.
The Wildcats were led by Lillyan Barnum (16 kills, four aces), Brynn Rasmus (17 assists), Darci Perrette (13 assists) and Emily Scott, who Snider said “contributed solid defense and is commended for her hustle tonight.”
Raymond 3, Ilwaco 0
The Raymond Seagulls continued to roll through their schedule, picking up a straight-set victory over Ilwaco on Tuesday in Raymond.
The Seagulls (5-0) won 26-24, 25-19 and 25-15 behind consistent passing after struggling through a slow start in the first set.
“We came out very flat in the first set and allowed Ilwaco to have the lead most of the set,” said Raymond head coach Bob Swogger, whose team didn’t catch the Fishermen until 22-22 of the first set.
“Fortunately, we were able to pick up our passing and attacking to turn the set around. In sets two and three we did a good job of passing, especially on serve-receive, which allowed us to attack the ball with consistency.”
Raymond was led by Kyra Gardner (16 kills, .415 hit percentage), Caton Swogger (six kills, two blocks), Grace Busenius (five kills) and Sidney Swogger (four kills).
South Bend 3, Forks 1
South Bend’s solid service game served the Indians well once again, leading to a 3-1 victory over Forks on Tuesday at Forks High School.
South Bend won 25-17, 25-15, 26-28 and 25-16.
The Indians (4-1) served 90% as a team, led by sophomore setter Clara Green and junior libero Hannah Jewell, each of whom went 18-for-18 in service.
Jewell led South Bend with 18 digs while junior middle blocker Dayna Estle led the team with six kills.
“We made some poor choices in crucial moments tonight, which resulted in us going four sets. But we were able to finish strong and get the win,” South Bend head coach Kelsey Staats said.
Taholah 3, Wishkah Valley 0
Taholah defeated Wishkah Valley in straight sets Tuesday at Wishkah Valley High School.
The Chitwhins won by scores of 25-17, 25-22 and 25-22.
“We started out a little slow tonight,” Wishkah head coach Katerina Eaton said. “As our communication picked up, so did our play.”
Eaton cited sophomores Delaney Baltzell and Lilly Bernhardy for their service games.