Warriors net third at NWAACC Tournament

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GRESHAM, Ore. — Walla Walla Community College’s volleyball team followed Thursday’s NWAACC Tournament opening-match victory with a three-set win over Tacoma Friday morning before falling into the loser’s bracket with a four-set loss to Spokane in the evening.

But the Warriors bounced back to defeat Umpqua and host Mount Hood Saturday to play for a shot at the NWAACC championship against East Region rival Spokane Saturday evening.

The Sasquatch then defeated WWCC as the Warriors took third place at the tournament.

Blue Mountain then won the title with a victory over Spokane as East Region teams completed the 1-2-3 finish.

“The win over Mount Hood in front of their loud home crowd was amazing,” WWCC coach Tim Toon said.

The victory over the host school was especially satisfying as Mount Hood defeated the Warriors in the championship match last year.

“Knocking them out of the tournament after they beat us last year was a lot of fun,” he said. “We came into this event ranked No. 4 in the NWAACC. It is safe to say we overachieved. I am proud of the heart and skill we showed in this tournament.”

The Warriors opened the second day of play with a 25-14, 25-20, 25-21 victory over Tacoma. Reese Amy had 14 kills, JaLisa Jose 10 kills , Desiree Nielson eight kills and two blocks, Courtney Cosdon put up 35 setting assists and six digs, Jess Smith 11 digs, Renee Baumann nine digs and Delaney Fisher six digs.

In the evening match, Spokane knocked WWCC into the lower bracket with a 20-25, 25-13, 25-22, 25-18 victory. The teams split their matches during the regular season.

Taylor Lancaster had 10 kills for the Warriors, with Amy picking up 10 kills and three blocks, Baumann seven kills and 20 digs, Jose nine kills and two blocks, Cosdon 40 setting assists and two service aces, and Smith two aces and nine digs.

On Saturday, WWCC downed Umpqua 25-20, 25-15, before taking care of Mount Hood 25-17, 21-25, 15-13 to set up a re-match with Spokane. The Sasquatch won that match 25-16, 20-25, 15-12.

Cosdon and Nielson were named to the NWAACC All-Tournament Team as the Warriors finished in the top three in the conference for the sixth time in the last nine years.

“The sophomores carried on the Warrior tradition and the cupboard is not bare for next year,” Toon said. “I’m excited for this freshman class and recruiting looks really good. We will train hard in the offseason in hopes of remaining an elite team in the NWAACC.”

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