Volleyball blazes a trail to fourth place in NWC

Aspen Brooks

The Wildcats earned two more victories this week, carrying on what is now a five-match winning streak by defeating the Puget Sound Loggers and the Lewis and Clark Pioneers.

These wins land the Wildcats in fourth place in the Northwest Conference, giving them a chance to battle their way to the championship.

The ’Cats fought their way back from losing the first two sets to triumph 3-2 over the Puget Sound Loggers Friday night.

Coach Shane Kimura said, “Although we started slow, we continued to play hard and more consistently as the match progressed.”

The Wildcats fell 11-25 and 17-25 in the first two sets, with hitting efficiencies of just .028 and .026.

They picked it up to come back in the third set, siding out at 71 percent to win 25-20.

Set four was a close battle, with the Wildcats triumphing 28-26 after five lead changes and 10 tied scores.

In the fifth set, the Wildcats’ offense earned a hitting efficiency of .375 to win 15-12, winning the match three sets to two.

Jamie Talbo, ’18, had an excellent match, leading the Wildcats with 13 kills and 23 assists. Eryka Keoho, ’19, and Darian Stedman, ’19, also contributed 11 kills each. Casie

Gaza, ’17, added 21 assists to the Wildcats’ total of 52 for the night.

Quin Takashima, ’16, led the Wildcats’ defense with 26 digs, followed by Courtney Uyeda, ’16, and Talbo with 15 digs apiece.

The next night, the Wildcats swept the Lewis and Clark Pioneers in three close sets.

Kimura said, “We had good starts but struggled toward the ends of [sets] but played tough at critical parts of the match and won three very close sets.”

Although the Wildcats never dropped behind the Pioneers in points in the first set, it was a narrow victory of 26-24.

The Pioneers fought hard to come back in the second set, pulling ahead of the Wildcats several times, but the Wildcats came out on top 26-24.

The Wildcats solidified their victory with a 25-22 win in the third set.

Talbo led the offense again, contributing 10 kills. Molly McTaggart, ’17, and Tiara Huffaker, ’19, added nine and eight kills respectively to the team total of 41.

Next, the Wildcats will take on the Missionaries at 7 p.m. Oct. 31 at Whitman University.