If getting quick points is the name of the game, then Tacoma Baptist was at the top of the class against Chief Leschi. The Crusaders showed off some excellent serving ability at home against the Warriors on Oct. 21, collecting 20 aces to help claim a 25-9, 25-17, 25-13 win and remain undefeated in first place in the SeaTac 2B standings.
“We emphasized our serving both last season and in the offseason…to take our serves to a tougher level,” noted Crusaders head coach Rusty Carlson. “Every point starts with a serve, so we work on it.”
Elisa Caughlin led the way from the serving stripe for the Crusaders, smashing eight aces – four each in the second and third games – while Lily Powell added four aces and Kathryn Carlson and Michaela Jandebeur added two aces apiece.
Tacoma Baptist used a 10-0 run in the first game to take a commanding 19-5 lead, as senior captain Natalie Snyder and Ashley Brooks had two kills apiece during the spurt.
“This is pretty much the first game we’ve had all 10 of us healthy and able to play,” said Snyder, who finished with a team-high 11 kills. “I think it was a really good team effort tonight.”
Snyder added four kills early in the second game, but Chief Leschi hung tough thanks to the strong play of senior Jasena Baker. But with the game tied 9-9, the Crusaders launched another 10-0 run behind the serving of Caughlin, who had three aces in the span. Senior setter McKenna Neufeld – who had a game-high 26 assists – closed the game with a no-look tip over the nit. Neufeld earlier had one of the more entertaining parts of the match, lunging for a kick save of a ball in the first game that led to a point for the Crusaders.
“She is a great athlete, always brings her best game, gives great effort, and she has improved as a setter through the years,” Carlson said of Neufeld. “She’s very athletic and gets to everything.”
The Crusaders continued to roll in the third set, shooting out to an 18-5 lead as Jane Cooksley and Jennifer Brooks had two kills apiece during the stretch.
Tacoma Baptist improved to 6-0 in league play – including an impressive 3-1 win over perennial power Bear Creek on Oct. 10 – with four league games remaining. They were scheduled to host Crosspoint Academy on Oct. 24, and will prepare for the rematch at Bear Creek on Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. They finish out the regular season on the road, with matches at Auburn Adventist on Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. and at Seattle Lutheran on Nov. 5 at 6 p.m.