Volleyball nets a couple of wins

By Bryce Fecarotta - Staff Reporter



The Thunderbird Women's Volleyball team may have had a shaky preseason, but they are turning over a new leaf in conference play, winning three of their first four matches.

Their only loss of those four came in their second game, when despite competing the entire match, they fell short and lost 3-1 to South Puget Sound, 21-25, 25-23, 21-25, 22-25.

Sophomore right front Zoe Gaines and freshman outside hitter Carli Daniels powered the Thunderbirds' offense, Gaines with 20 kills and Daniels with 15.  However, their outstanding performances weren't quite enough to take home a victory on the road. 

After that tough loss, the team members say they knew they weren't going to let the next game slip by.

The T-Birds soared past the visiting Centralia Trailblazers, winning in four sets, 26-24, 25-19, 15-25, 25-21. Their newfound fire was apparent when they scored five straight on the first set to overcome a 21-24 deficit.

The T-Birds' defense prevailed as they held Centralia's star Autumn Durand to a .220 kill percentage. Daniels and Gaines again led the offense, Daniels with 14 kills and Gaines with 10 kills. 

"We had the whole preseason to learn from our errors. Now it means something, and the players are starting to realize it," said Head Coach Chris Littleman. 

The players were ecstatic about the victory. 

"We were playing together and the energy on the court was just so high, we were wanting to win," said freshman outside hitter Taylor Bell after the game. Bell had eight kills that game, and served all four of the balls on the run of four that ended the game. 

The Thunderbirds got their second win in a row the next game against the Tacoma Titans.  They won in four sets, 25-20, 25-16, 22-25, 25-13. Just like the previous game against Centralia, they dropped the third set, but recovered to finish it in the fourth. 

Coach Littleman said, "Volleyball, it's a rollercoaster. You can play really good, you can play really bad, but it's best of five for a reason." 

The Titans couldn't outplay the Thunderbirds' dominating defense. LB Lindsey Nein was the stalwart for the defense, putting in 22 digs in the game. 

"[The team] are all good all-around players, it's nice that they can do lotss of different things, it's not just one or two players who can do certain things," said Coach Littleman. 

This was obvious in their game against the Titans, as the offense was firing on all cylinders from a multitude of players. Gaines had 11 kills, Taylor Bell had 10 and Adrienne Haggerty had seven. 

Results of the Thunderbirds game against Lower Columbia on Oct. 4 were unavailable at press time. 

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