WALLA WALLA -- The Warrior sophomores -- Megan Tompkins, Brandie Riggs, Sarah McLean, Ashley Magee, and the injured Cassie Phippen -- went out in style here Friday in their last regular-season appearance at the Dietrich Dome in NWAACC Eastern Division women's volleyball action.
Walla Walla Community College got a step closer to making the NWAACC tournament field with a 3-0 win over Yakima Valley.
"This was an important one," Warrior coach Tim Toon said. "Wednesday's match (at CBC) basically decides who goes to the NWAACC tournament. By winning this match, we are in the driver's seat. If we lose against CBC, we most likely would host a one-game playoff, and we're a lot better in the dome than we are in other places. It's a big win today to win the right to do that."
It was not a good start for the Warriors as the Yaks played even through the first set before falling 27-25.
Behind the serve of Tompkins, a kill and a block from Magee, and a block from Magee and Madison Baxter, the Warriors turned a 2-1 lead into a 5-1 advantage.
WWCC stretched that lead to 13-7 following a Corrine Holbrook blast through a Yak block.
The Yaks got an immediate side out with a Shalene Scott kill and the rally was on. DeSales' graduate, Erin Mertens, served the Yaks into a 13-13 tie before a Nikki Long kill got the Warriors the lead back at 14-13.
The Warriors struggled with hitting errors and the Yaks fought to a set point at 25-24 following an Aimee Gone block.
A Holbrook kill got the Warriors even and Tompkins finished the deal with a serving ace , and on the following serve, McLean's hit was tipped out and the Warriors escaped with a 27-25 win.
"The pattern of this team (WWCC) is to play great and then string errors together," Toon said. "We were well in control and had five hitting errors in a row, and ended with 12 in the first set. We recovered nicely in sets two and three."
A Long kill opened a 15-5 Warrior lead in the second set. The Yaks never got closer than nine points the rest of the way. A Holbrook block at 19-10 jumped the Warrior lead back to 20-10, and Holbrook posted another block at 21-12 to keep the 10-point margin at 22-12 as WWCC closed out set two with a 25-14 win.
Behind three kills and a dink from Magee and following a 3-0 run behind McLean's serve, the Warriors opened an 18-10 lead in set three.
WWCC out scored the Yaks 7-4 the rest of the way as a Riggs serve led to a Yak net violation and gave the Warriors the set and match with a 25-14 win.
"We're our own worse enemies sometimes," Toon said in reference to the first set. "But fortunately, there's more quality than there is yuk. Quality won out over the long run."
For Yakima, Mertens led the Yaks with 17 assists and was 15-of-15 from the service line. Weston-McEwen product, Stephanie Frank, contributed a kill to the Yakima attack.
Magee's 15 kills led the Warrior hitters. Long chipped in 11 kills and McLean recorded 29 assists.
On defense, Magee led the way with eight blocks, Holbrook added five, and Tompkins finished with 16 digs.
The Warriors improve to 7-6 in the East, and travel to Pasco Wednesday to conclude the regular season with the CBC match and a chance to nail down a tournament berth.
"We're planning on going Wednesday and just ending it (getting the tourney berth)," Toon said of the upcoming match.