Panthers munch on Blue Devils in volleyball matchup

Wa-Hi loses two volleyball matches to Wenatchee, winning just one of seven sets.

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Wa-Hi Sophmore # 13 Megan Gregg and Senior Sydney Christensen make a block during a Saturday match against Wenatchee Panthers.Photo by Brian Gaines 9/18/2010

WALLA WALLA - The Wa-Hi Blue Devils volleyball team lost a pair of matches against the Wenatchee Panthers, winning just one game of seven on Saturday.

Wa-Hi did, however, remain competitive throughout the match scores.

The Blue Devils fell in their first four games.

The Panthers outscored the Blue Devils 25-14, lost 18-25, won 25-15 and won a last game 25-23.

The only lead that the Blue Devils enjoyed in game one was a 1-0 start.

The game was tied at 7-7, then the Panthers ran off seven straight points to make it 14-7.

The Panthers devoured the Blue Devils, the rest of the game, winning by eleven.

"They (Wenatchee) have some big, athletic girls, that is for sure," said Wa-Hi coach Audra Cummings.

Game two was a different story for the Devils.

Wa-Hi got out to a 3-0 lead in its second game.

The two teams fought back and forth to a tie at nine and snarled again at 17.

The Devils went on an 8-1 run to take the second game.

Devyn Humphreys had two blocks and one kill in the streak. Madeline Jacobson added one block and one kill.

Wa-Hi fell behind 6-1 to start game three. The Blue Devils never rallied to catch up and lost by 10 points.

"It was little things that hurt us," Cummings said. "We got out of position on ‘D' at times and let them go on too much of serving runs, other times."

Wa-Hi opened with a 6-1 lead in game four.

Two kills by Sydney Christensen led the way, with Megan Gregg contributing three service aces.

The game turned into a seesaw battle, with the Panthers slowly chipping away at the lead.

The Panthers came all the way back to tie it at 16.

The game was then tied again at 20, 21 and 22 before Wenatchee squeaked out a two-point victory to seal the match.

In the first match, there were many statistical leaders for Wa-Hi.

Franny Eacker-Rude had nine assists, Tianna Cummings 13 digs, Stephanie Wilson five kills and nine digs, Chantelle Zamora four kills, Christensen's 12 kills and five blocks, and Humphreys seven kills and three blocks.

In the second Wa-Hi-Wenatchee match of the day, Wa-Hi lost 22-25, 23-25 and 9-25.

Wa-Hi fell behind repeatedly in the second match and dug themselves holes too big to overcome, Cummings said.

"We need to start games stronger," she said. "We need to get the first 5 or 10 points instead of playing catch-up the entire day like we did today.

"That mental toughness is what we need more of. The girls wanted it but not bad enough. They worked hard but not hard enough. It is unfortunate, hopefully we'll learn a lesson, we'll see."

Eacker-Rude led the second match eight assists, Tianna Cummings had 11 digs, Wilson six digs and four kills, Zamora four kills and five digs, Humphreys eight kills and two blocks and Christensen contributed five kills.

The Blue Devils are 1-3 in league play.

They play Davis at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Yakima.

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