Tigers doomed by offensive inconsistency in loss to Ducks


ADNA — Over the course of the season, when the Napavine Tigers have been clicking, they’ve been as good as any team in the C2BL.

At times, though, there have been blips of inconsistencies that have cost them games over the course of the season.

Wednesday was one of those inconsistent nights for the Tigers, as they never got rolling offensively in a 25-14, 25-19, 20-25, 25-16 loss to Toutle Lake in the 2B District semifinals at Adna.

It was a rematch of last year’s district semifinal, which Napavine took in five sets last fall.

On Wednesday, Napavine coach Monica Dailey was frustrated with the loss, saying that while Toutle Lake outplayed them, the Tigers did little to help themselves.

“I don’t feel like we passed well tonight on serve receive,” Dailey said. “And you can’t run an offense and can’t get multiple serves in a row if you can’t serve receive.”

While serve receive may have been the most glaring issue on Wednesday, it wasn’t the only one. Dailey added that there were timing and communication issues throughout the night, which led to a lot of late tips.

The Ducks capitalized on the Tigers’ hesitancy, quickly piling up points at the net.

“We could have been a lot more aggressive at the net than what we were,” Dailey said.

There were a few positives to take away from the loss, including the fact that the Tigers only missed two serves all night, a season low.

“We’ve got to put it all together at the same time,” Dailey said. “When they do, they do really well.”

The third set was the closest the Tigers got on Wednesday to putting it all together, and they had success. Keira O’Neill and Dakota Hamilton gave the offense a much-needed boost, and the Tigers were able to finish the set on a 15-9 run to force a fourth set.

Things quickly fell apart in that set, however, as the Ducks jumped out to an 8-5 lead and ran away with it from there to advance to the district title game. They’ll take on Adna at Adna at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

O’Neill was stellar at the net throughout, recording 16 kills and seven blocks, while Hamilton tallied 22 assists and 11 kills of her own. Hamilton, Emily Kang, Jessie McCoy and Grace Gall were all perfect from the service line.

Napavine still has two more chances to secure a spot at the state tournament, with the first coming up at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday against Forks at Adna.

With a win, the Tigers would advance to the district third-place game and clinch a state bid, while a loss would push them to a winner-to-state fifth-place game. Those games are also on Saturday at Adna.