Tigers' season ends at hands of Chinooks


YAKIMA — A season that showed extreme promise early came to a disappointing end on Wednesday, as the Napavine volleyball team lost both of its games on the first day of the 2B state tournament in Yakima.

In their loser-out game against Kalama, the Tigers fell in four, 27-29, 18-25, 25-17, 25-20. They finish their season 16-7. It’s the first time that Napavine has ever gone two-and-out at State.

Napavine coach Monica Dailey was speechless in the moments following the loss, as she struggled to find the words to convey her emotions.

“I know we’re better than that,” Dailey said in between long pauses. “It’s frustrating.”

The Chinooks came out with an energy that the Tigers struggled to match.

The first set was as back-and-forth as they come, with each team trading points deep into the set.

In extra points, the Tigers had appeared to earn the set-winning point when a Kalama tip was ruled out by the line judge, but the main official overruled her. The point was given to the Chinooks, who scored the next two points to take a 1-0 lead.

Set No. 2 was especially maddening for the Tigers, as they committed three rotation violations, including two within a span of four points.

“I set the lineup wrong,” Dailey said. “I just flipped a couple players on accident, and they couldn’t figure out how to stay in rotation with it. That’s on me.”

Kalama was seemingly able to capitalize on every Napavine mistake, and with each Chinook point, the liveliness and intensity from the Kalama crowd and bench grew.

The Tigers responded with a much-needed clean third set, committing zero rotation errors and just one service error to trim the deficit to 2-1.

That was as close as the comeback got, however.

After taking a 13-12 lead in the fourth set, the Chinooks went on a 6-0 run to take an 18-13 lead, one they wouldn’t relinquish.

“That fourth set, they came fired up,” Dailey said. “But they didn’t have as much passion as they did in that third set. They still fought hard. We just made too many mistakes.”

It’ll be a much different group that takes the floor for Napavine next fall, as the Tigers are set to graduate six seniors: Keira O’Neill, Dakota Hamilton, Briza Contreras, Grace Gall, Anna Thompson and Eden Engel.

“I’m devastated for our seniors,” Dailey said. “Those are some amazing seniors. They’re definitely going to have some big roles to fill next year.”