Thunderbirds top Falcons in crosstown clash
// Life Christian routs Chimacum to remain in first place
Displaying a good blend of experienced and youthful talent, Mount Tahoma swept past Foss 25-15, 25-16, 25-4 in the crosstown Narrows 3A volleyball tilt on Sept. 26.
“I’m happy, what can I say,” said Thunderbirds head coach Terry Lynn Thayer. “I’m happy that the girls played together.”
The Thunderbirds raced out to an early 5-0 lead in the first set thanks to a couple blocks and a kill by Rejie Wright, but senior Breana Brown helped bring the Falcons back, and they got within 14-10 on a finish by Fa’amanvia Fa’alava’au. Senior setter Aliyah Carector responded with two aces for the Thunderbirds to regain control, and freshman Alanna Bates-Carector later added a kill to claim the first set.
“The future looks bright,” said Thayer of her squad, “because they’re really talented and they’re willing to work hard.”
The Falcons stayed in the second set early with solid play from Amber and Breana Brown, but strong serving from Briana Pressley and outside play by Bates-Carector led the Thunderbirds on a 7-0 run midway through the set to take control.
“They let a couple streaks go by, and that’s tough, they’ve got to learn to break out of that,” said Foss head coach Ramon Maddox of his team. “Sometimes everything goes wrong at one time. It’s a tough one for the girls, and we’ll have to move past that.”
Mount Tahoma charged out to a 19-1 lead in the third set, not letting the Falcons establish any sort of rhythm as the Thunderbirds quickly closed out the match. Carector finished with 16 aces and 12 assists, while Rosalia Taula had 14 aces, Cydney Tillman added nine aces and Pressley had six kills for the Thunderbirds. Amber Brown led the Falcons with nine kills, while Monica Villanueva had 21 assists and Kylie Thornton was the defensive leader with 17 digs.
“We’ve just got to find a way to support each other better and we’ll be good,” Maddox said.
LIFE CHRISTIAN DOMINATES CHIMACUM
After a slow start against Chimacum, Life Christian used its solid depth and a couple of dominating stretches to cruise to a 25-13, 25-9, 25-4 win over the Cowboys to remain atop the Nisqually 1A standings.
“The girls did great,” said Eagles head coach Tracy King. “Every time the ball came over they were in the right spot. They’re playing together.”
Life Christian, who lost just one player off of last year’s state tournament team, held an early 13-12 lead in the first set thanks to two kills apiece by Carly Normandeau and Grace Bouffiou. They then rattled off an 11-0 run thanks to solid serving from sophomore Kylie Burton and dominant play up front by junior Johnnise Moore.
Moore then took over from the outset in the second set, helping the Eagles charge out to a 15-4 lead with three aces and three kills early.
“The girls have really been working hard on spot serving and serving to certain players on the court,” King said. “When they come on the floor any time out, they’re very focused on they’re ready to go.”
Life Christian was never threatened from then on, with Normandeau closing out the second set with an emphatic block. Burton then took charge again with more solid serving during a 19-0 run at the beginning of the third set to put away the match. Sophomore Maddy Long had five of her six kills in the third set, further displaying the Eagles’ talent and depth.
Moore led the way up front with 14 kills, seven aces and six digs, while Bouffiou had six kills, seven assists and 11 digs and Normandeau added five kills and 21 assists.
“Having Grace and Carly – both setters – on the floor, we have hands everywhere,” said King, also noting the dominance of Moore and junior Ashlee Hamilton in the middle and the emergence of Long on the outside. “What more can we ask for? They’re amazing young ladies so it’s nice to see them be successful.”
The win put the Eagles at 7-1 in league play as they sit in first place by two games. With the number of experienced returning players, King admits that while her squad remains focused on the task at hand, the excitement is growing.
“It is all about unity,” King said. “Last year we meshed so well. With only losing one player, they got (the unity) back. The first couple weeks it took us a while to get going, but they’re just taking off (now). They’re excited for the rest of the season.”
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