Warriors suffer first conference loss

Kiendra Chester celebrates a point during the first set. Walla Walla lost to Blue Mountain, 25-17, 20-25, 25-23, 25-15.

Kiendra Chester celebrates a point during the first set. Walla Walla lost to Blue Mountain, 25-17, 20-25, 25-23, 25-15.

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Walla Walla Community College’s Kiendra Chester slams the ball towards the Blue Mountain defense during Wednesday’s match.

WALLA WALLA — The Warriors suffered their first NWAACC East volleyball loss of the season to Blue Mountain at Walla Walla Community College’s Dietrich Dome Wednesday.

The Timberwolves won in four games, 25-17, 20-25, 25-23, 25-15.

Blue Mountain, undefeated at 6-0 in the East and 25-1 on the season, is ranked No. 1 in the NWAACC.

The Warriors, 4-1 in league and 15-7 overall, are right behind the Timberwolves and are ranked sixth in the NWAACC.

“During the second and third games, we looked like the best team in the NWAACC,” WWCC coach Tim Toon said after Wednesday’s match. “Nobody in the league has ben able to push Blue Mountain like we did. A couple of bad breaks led to the loss in game three. If we could have pulled out that victory, I think we would have won the match.”

JaLisa Jose recorded 12 kills and 20 digs for the Warriors.

“She had some incredible stretches of great play,” Toon said of the sophomore middle blocker.

Denise Comfort had nine kills and two blocks.

“Week by week, Denise is becoming a bigger part of our transition offense by collecting more hits,” Toon said.

Chantelle Zamora came up with nine kills and 15 digs, Kiendra Chester had eight kills, and Libby Davidson’s five kills were part of the “best hitting percentage on the team,” Toon said. “Good kills totals with no errors.”

Devin Casterline “stepped into the hole and dug some tough balls” with 13 digs, and Delaney Fisher had “excellent serve-receive and serving” in picking up nine digs,” he said.

Setters Breanna Mehling dished out 24 assists and had eight digs, and Allie Johnson handed out 16 assists and had 15 digs.

“Overall, we are getting better as a team,” Toon said. “We moved from No. 7 to No. 6 in the latest NWAACC Coaches Poll. We are in second place in league and are positioned to finish the season in a strong fashion.

“The pattern of the WWCC program is to play our best ball at the championship tournament,” he said. “With continued improvement, we can beat any team at that event.”

The Warriors head to Wenatchee on Wednesday, before facing Columbia Basin on Oct. 11.

“Those are ‘trap’ games,” Toon said. “Both those places are hard to play at. Both those teams are desperate for wins to stay in the playoff hunt. We will have to play quality ball to come away with the wins.”

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