WALLA WALLA - Dayton and DeSales dueled it out in Southeast 2B volleyball play Tuesday, with the Bulldogs taking the match in four sets by the narrowest of margins. Dayton took the first set 25-23; DeSales the second, 25-19; and Dayton the final two at 25-20 and 25-22.
Both teams carried 3-1 league records into the match and the victory moves the Bulldogs into sole possession of second place in the SE2B.
Dayton's only loss came against Asotin.
"They were real competitive, scrappy games, all four of them," Dayton coach Shannon Turner said. "We had some long rallies, both teams are defensive teams."
DeSales coach Lori Blanc also said she had expected the games to be close.
"I would say defensively we knew it was going to be a struggle because we are both very defensive teams," Blanc said. "The difference was going to be who could do better on offense and who could pt it away with kills."
One thing that made a difference for the Bulldogs in the win was a move from the back row to front court for Jessica Tate, Turner said.
"Her (Tate's) high energy just brings a lot of momentum to the game," Turner said. "She was moving around the court and getting double the digs prior to the change (from back to front court). She picks up a lot of the tips that we were letting fall before."
The teams traded points throughout the match, with the largest point differential coming in the second set, a DeSales victory, when the Irish jumped out to an 8-2 lead.
"All four games were a roller-coaster of back-and-forths," Blanc said.
McKayla Bickelhaupt led the Bulldogs with 18 kills and 19 digs. Jessica Tate led Dayton with 24 digs and four kills on the night. Nicole Lambert stepped in with 23 digs along with four more kills and a perfect 11-of-11 in serving.
Shelby Smith had five blocks for Dayton in the victory, along with four kills. Courtney Mings also picked up two blocks and was also a perfect 16-for-16 serving.
For the Irish, Abbey Larreau racked up 14 kills on the night. She was trailed by Stephanie Ferrel with 10 kills, Claire Conley with nine, and Annie Higgins with seven.
Jade Donnely was 11-of-11 from the service stripe and Alex Buley was not far behind at 10-for-10.
Chantel Blanc ran the offense with 33 assists on the night.
The Irish next travel across town to take on Walla Walla Valley Academy, and the Bulldogs host conference foe Tri-Cities Prep, on Thursday. Both matches are slated for 6 p.m.