Walla Walla Community College

Warriors lose hard-fought NWAC East match with Hawks, 3-1

Columbia Basin came to the Dietrich Dome on Wednesday night, Oct. 27, for a showdown with Walla Walla Community College’s volleyball team.

The two squads were both atop the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) East standings, with the Hawks technically in first after the Warriors’ bye last week.

And in a match that was hard-fought all night, the Hawks went home to Pasco with a 3-1 victory, 25-19, 25-22, 16-25, 25-20.

“They’re a great team defensively, holy cow!” WWCC head coach Rylie Engelson said. “We match up really well with them in a lot of different ways, and tonight, they were just the better team. They brought it.”

Columbia Basin jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first set, and led throughout.

The Warriors pulled within 21-19 before the Hawks went on a run for the 25-19 win.

Walla Walla turned the tables in the second set, taking a 2-0 lead before the Hawks battled to tie it at 2-all.

The teams traded leads through the set, the final being at 22-22 before Columbia Basin put together a run to take the 25-22 victory.

The third set started much as the second set played out, with the lead changing hands before the Warriors gained an 8-5 margin.

But the Hawks battled back and took a 9-8 lead before Walla Walla went on a run to make it 15-11, and extended that to 17-11 after a Columbia Basin timeout.

The Warriors never relinquished their lead to take the 25-16 victory.

In the fourth, Columbia Basin opened up a 7-2 margin only to watch Walla Walla pull within 11-10, but the Hawks maintained their lead to close out the match with the 25-20 win.

“We built momentum in the second set,” Engelson said. “We just put the ball away where they weren’t, which is difficult because they’re always so scrappy, and they’re always well coached. So it’s hard to find a way to put the ball down.

“We were missing our starting middle, Mollie Doyle, so Brook (Dribnak) stepped up and did a fantastic job,” she said. “It was like Mollie wasn’t gone, but we were missing Mollie.

“That’s the game of volleyball though, it’s a game of ups and downs, and whoever can compete at the highest level and find a way to put the ball away is going to excel and win that game.”

Marci Clayton finished the match with nine kills and 18 setting assists for the Warriors, with Gracie Dines, Maizy Giles and Olivia Tolman each recording eight kills.

Haley Shaw had 20 setting assists and two aces for WWCC, Haley Bretz came up with 15 digs, Sydney Wilson had the Warriors’ best serve-receive rating with eight digs, and Dribnak “played better than her numbers showed” with two kills.

The Warriors are at Yakima Valley on Friday, and host their final home match against North Idaho on Wednesday before closing the regular season on the road at Treasure Valley on Nov. 5 and Big Bend on Nov. 10.

“We have our work cut out for us for the duration of the season,” Engelson said. “Tough games on the road ahead.”

SOURCE: https://www.union-bulletin.com/sports/college_sports/walla_walla_community_college/warriors-lose-hard-fought-nwac-east-match-with-hawks-3-1/article_76c8febc-379e-11ec-8f0c-433542563034.html

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