ONALASKA — The Vikings came to play against Toutle Lake here on Tuesday, earning a sweep of the Ducks in a District IV 2B volleyball tournament semifinal game.
Mossyrock advances to the district title game against Kalama at 4 p.m. in Raymond on Saturday. The Vikings last played in the title game back in 2017, losing to Napavine 3-1. The win also secures a spot in the state tournament next Thursday and Friday at the SunDome in Yakima.
“Well, as the girls say every time at the end, ‘We feel great.’ A lot of pressure coming into that game cause we had to do three instead of two this year but now that pressure’s off, we’re going to state,” Mossyrock coach Alex Nelson said. “We worked really hard against a very good team. I’m really proud because we kind of dominated that but we weren’t expecting because Toutle Lake has taken us to five the first time we saw them. In the tournament, we went three (sets) with them. So that’s a tough team that we just made really good decisions, stuck with our game plan and we executed very well tonight.”
Toutle Lake and Mossyrock played a back and forth first set, but the Vikings were able to pull away and win, 25-16. It was all Vikings after that, taking a big lead early in the second set en route to a 25-12 win. Toutle Lake tried to rally in the third set but ultimately, the Vikings proved to be too much in a 25-16 set win.
Andee Nelson led the Vikings with 14 kills and 20 digs. Payton Torrey tallied nine kills and 15 digs, Faith Mulligan added 16 digs and Morgan Houghtelling compiled 31 assists. Hailey Brooks had three aces to lead Mossyrock.
“Morgan went back and served, she’s lately been on fire in her serves, she gets back there and goes for a long run. Faith did a great job. Last time, we got hurt when they pushed it to the corner and she ran down everything that was in the corner, got touches on everything and just great job of serve-receive,” coach Nelson said. “She makes it look so easy but that is difficult and she passed it right up to target. And Andee did a great job hitting, you know they have to pay attention to her when she’s in the front row which let our middles have a little more success with those middles getting out to outside so just a great team effort, really proud of all of them.”
After playing a five set match against Toutle Lake on Oct. 1 in Mossyrock, coach Nelson knew her team had to change the way they were attacking the Ducks’ defense.
“We watched film and we noticed that’s what we did. Five swings as hard as we can every single time and they dug up five swings so we needed to give them some offspeed stuff and keep them guessing at what we were going to do and they executed that well,” coach Nelson said. “All of the little things, being ready to pick up balls and touch as many balls as we can, not looking over our shoulder but not being indecisive and just going after it, which the girls also executed well.”
The Vikings and Chinooks have met twice this season. The Chinooks earned the win on Sept. 24 in a 3-0 sweep in a non-league game in Mossyrock, but the Vikings won the next match on Oct. 3 in a 3-0 sweep in Kalama in a league match to help the Vikings claim a Central 2B League title.
The Chinooks swept Wahkiakum in the other district semifinal match.
“It’s very great and it’s hard to do. I’ve never won a district championship so getting there is an accomplishment. It’s very tough in our league, as you can see, four of the teams came forward,” coach Nelson said. “Again, congratulations to all of those teams, we have a strong league and it prepares us when it comes down to the end and I’m grateful for that. It makes us, you know, hard to win more games but it prepares us and so that helps us in the end game. Just can’t say enough about these girls, they’re a great group and a well deserved win.”