The Centralia volleyball team’s entrance into 2A EvCo play was anything but easy. But the Tigers’ match against Shelton – a side that swept them twice last year – took just enough twists to see them ride out winners in five sets, 19--25, 25-15, 25-19, 17-25, 15-10.
“To come out on the road and get that first league win, it means a lot,” Centralia coach Marti Smith said. “It sets the tone for the rest of the week. It’s good to be tested like this.”
After falling in the first set, the Tigers roared back in the second and the third. But with the win a set away, Centralia gave momentum up in a rough fourth, and had to pull itself back up off the mat in the fifth.
And despite dropping the first two points of the decisive set, the Tigers rallied, ripping off 15 of the final 23 to win.
“It took every ounce we had remaining to win that set,” Smith said.
Junior libero Gracie Scofield finished with a team-high 29 digs, but Lauren Wasson and Peyton Smith were right behind her at 26 apiece. Smith added 24 assists and six blocks, while also finishing 21 of 22 at the service line. For her part, Wasson had the same final serving numbers, while also putting down eight kills.
Tatum Johnson led the offense with 10 kills, went a perfect 15 for 15 on serves with four aces, and sent back four blocks. Emily Wilkerson, Hollynn Wakefield, and Payton Baumel all had five kills apiece.
With the win in hand, the focus for the Tigers now shifts to making things be a little less dramatic when possible going forward.
“We have to learn how to control our energy, not try to get too high on the highs or too low on the lows,” Smith said.
The Tigers will get the chance to try Thursday, when they go to Chehalis to face W.F. West.