WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla Community College jumped to a 12-2 lead in the third set in NWAACC East Region volleyball action against Columbia Basin College here Wednesday.
The Hawks made it interesting in the clinching set, but the Warriors prevailed for a 25-20 win and completed the three-set sweep of CBC.
The Warriors won the first set 25-21, then survived two set points before pulling out a 26-24 win in the second set, and completed the sweep with the third-set win.
“I’m happy with the overall result,” WWCC coach Tim Toon said. “The processes and touching of the ball is getting there, I’m not completely pleased with. But, we’ll definitely take a 3-0 sweep in league play.”
The Hawks got within 21-20 in the first set before a JaLisa Jose block earned the Warriors a sideout and a 22-20 lead. A Libby Davison block, a Hawk hit out of bounds and a Kiendra Chester kill finished off the opening set with a 25-21 Warrior win.
Behind the serving of ex-Wa-Hi product Chantelle Zamora, the Warriors raced to a 5-0 second-set lead. CBC’s Kelly Madsen found the floor on a spirited rally and the Hawks came all the way back to grab a 9-8 lead. The Hawks kept the lead until an errant serve and a Zamora block knotted the set at 18-18. CBC responded to take a 22-19 lead and then hung on to get within one point of the set at 24-23.
“You see us roller coastering and giving away streaks of points that we shouldn’t give away,” Toon said. “We’re still very error prone and the good news is that we can fix that and we’ll mature out of that.”
At 24-23 CBC, Chester buried a kill for a 24-24 tie. Jose’s kill was touched and went out of play for a 25-24 Warrior lead. Delaney Fisher’s serve culminated in a Hawk hitting error and WWCC had set two at 26-24.
“In practice, we work on stopping streaks by other teams,” Jose said. “We’ve done a lot of drills and it is a mind set to do better.”
Delaney Fisher went on a 9-0 third set serving run, sparked by an ace and two Denise Comfort kills, to turn a Warrior 3-2 lead into a 12-2 advantage that the Hawks could not recover from.
“We started off strong and stayed strong,” Asotin graduate Jose said of the third set. “It was momentum (from set two). They start to struggle and we do well.”
The Hawks made it interesting, as Kristin Stanley led a 6-0 CBC run from the service line to narrow the Warrior lead to 24-20, before Jose’s kill beat the CBC blockers for the set and match clincher.
“We give away too many points and lose focus. We should have put that team away in game three,” Toon said. “And yet we just limped to victory rather than doing it with authority.”
The Warriors improve to 2-0 in East play and 7-5 overall.
“We struggled today (at the net) at times, but we had some good moments,” Jose said. “The win puts us in a good spot for our conference matches. Our plan is to be 4-0 before we go into some of our tougher games.”
Breanna Mehling handed out 29 assists to spark the Warrior offense. Jose led the hitters with 13 kills and Chester blasted 12. On the return side, Zamora and Fisher led the way with 14 digs each, while Devin Casterline dug up 12 returns.
The Warriors host Umpqua at 6 p.m. tonight, and host their own crossover tournament Friday and Saturday.
“This team is getting better slower than I want,” Toon said. “But I think we’re going to peak at the right time and be dang good at the end. By the end of this week, we’ll figure it out and be a much better team.”