The La Center High School volleyball team won Thursday, Sept. 28 in three straight sets over Columbia-White Salmon High School, adding to the season’s 30-1 total of sets won.
Earlier last week, the Wildcats gained some recognition from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association when La Center moved up two spots to place sixth in the state’s 1A ranking.
“It’s such an honor because they work really hard, and that’s just a reflection of their hard work,” head coach Cymany O’Brien said. “They work so damn hard at practice, and I’m really proud of their work ethic and what they’re willing to do. They do weight room and Saturday practices.”
During their matchup with the Bruins from up the Gorge, the Wildcats got off to a slow start in the first set but found a hole in the Bruins’ back court that they targeted the rest of the match.
Their 6-foot tall junior, Billie Ross, ended the match with 14 kills, two blocks, eight digs and nine service points.
“Billie Ross is an exceptional leader out there on the floor, and she sees the ball really well,” O’Brien said. “And she is one of those kids helping to make those adjustments and like, ‘we need to do this right now.’ I didn’t have to tell them what to do. They just really had that on court leadership to make decisions about what they needed to do next to put the ball away and get the next point.”
During the match, La Center won 25-18, 25-14 and 25-14 to improve to 10-0 on the season and 2-0 in 1A Trico League play.
Other La Center player stats:
• Esther Langeliers — nine kills, two digs, one ace, six service points
• Whitney Martell — nine kills, two blocks, three digs, one ace, two service points
• Mia Achziger — 14 digs, three aces, 10 service points
• Aristyn Wiseman — four kills, three aces, 14 service points
• Bailey Espana — 15 assists, four kills, two aces, nine service points, four digs
• Quinn Erickson — 11 assists, three digs, three service points
• Sofia Van Zant — six digs
• Maddia Castro — one block
• Paige Sherry — one kill, one block, three digs
• Nadia Whited — four digs
This week will be the biggest test yet for the La Center Wildcats as they played King’s Way Christian School, Tuesday, Oct. 3, but results were unavailable at publication. They play Seton Catholic College Preparatory Thursday, Oct. 5 on the road and in a tournament at R.A. Long High School in Longview on Saturday, Oct. 7.
O’Brien hopes her players continue their mantra of staying in the moment and playing a point at a time.
“They’re really committed to a strong finish,” she said. “I think they got a taste of it last year, placing eighth at state. It was the first time we placed at state in 27 years, and those girls are like, ‘We can do better, and we know what it takes to be there.’ We’re not going to let any moment go by and look back and have a regret about it.”