Unable to keep its positive momentum rolling from a win against Olympic on Tuesday, the Centralia volleyball team fell in four sets to Heritage (25-18, 25-11, 25-27, 25-9) Thursday at Ron Brown Court.
After getting out to a strong start in the first set, the Tigers (1-1) couldn’t get out of their own way in serve receive, with mistakes leading to long Heritage runs.
In the blink of an eye, the Tigers fell behind in two sets and had to wake up fast to get back into the game. They did exactly that in the third set, finding their consistency in their serve and delivering nice passes for kills.
“We went to a 6-2 in the third set to throw something else out there,” Tigers coach Marti Smith said. “The first set we battled, the second set was something to forget. But then to come out in that third set and pull out that win, I was very proud of them.”
The Tigers faced two match points before rattling off three straight points, and then sealing the set win to force four with all the momentum. But after losing a middle after a weird fall, Centralia lost its momentum and fell in the final fourth set.
“We couldn’t carry that momentum that we wanted,” Smith said. “They had to work through what they could in that set. Regardless of the score, I was proud of my players for fulfilling roles they haven’t played yet. We had our hiccups but they played through and I was proud of that.”
Senior Peyton Smith did a bit of everything at the setter spot for the Tigers, digging up 14 balls, going 15 for 17 at the service line with five aces, and dishing out 20 assists. Lauren Wasson added eight kills, Hollynn Wakefield had four kills, Tatum Johnston had five kills and two blocks, and Gracie Schofield and Alayna Mcgregor had perfect serving nights.
Marti Smith credited Wasson for coming out ready to play and setting the tone in the first set, and Peyton Smith for staying steady throughout the entire match Thursday.
“She wears her heart on her sleeves,” Marti Smith said. “This was one of her best games keeping her emotions and body language in check. I didn’t have to focus on that, she just played and did an amazing job in fulfilling her role.”
Centralia will look to rebound before hosting the Centerville Classic this Saturday, and resuming non-league play on the road against Tenino next Wednesday.