The Washington County volleyball tournament has been dominated in recent years by the Eastern High School volleyball team.
This year, however, it was the Lady Senators who claimed the title, sweeping Salem 25-18, 25-21 and the Lady Musketeers 25-14, 25-20, in the round-robin tournament.
West Washington Head Coach Chrissy Tuchscherer said she felt like her team had a good shot to win the event last year, but didn’t get the job done.
“Last year our goal was to win a county championship and we didn’t get it done, so from day one of summer we’ve been talking about the county title,” said Tuchscherer. “We have five great seniors on our team and they made this their goal.”
The Lady Senators set the tone from the start.
They turned a 10-8 deficit in the first game of the Salem match into an 18-13 lead thanks to strong serving and net play by Chelsea Thompson and Shelby Springer.
Rachel Bowling came up with a block and Thompson hammered down a kill and West Washington was never seriously threatened in a 25-18 game one win.
The second game of the Salem match was much more competitive.
A hitting error by the Lady Senators gave Salem an 18-17 lead.
But like they had done all match, West Washington responded.
Bowling got a kill to tie the score and another kill by Shelby Springer put the Lady Senators in front 19-18.
A Salem hitting error put WW up 20-18 and they continued to slowly pull away.
A kill by Kalen Nice, as well as an ace and a tip kill by Tori Packwood gave West Washington the game and the match.
They picked up where they left off against Eastern.
The Lady Senators blew open an 8-all game with a 14-3 run that was sparked by a number of Eastern errors and a kill by Nice.
The Lady Musketeers tried to make a run, but West Washington was too far ahead.
In the second game of the match, it looked like Eastern may even things up as they too a 19-18 lead.
A net violation by the Lady Musketeers tied the score at 19-all and a two hit violation by Eastern put the Lady Senators back on top.
West Washington’s Rachel Bowling took the ball and served out the match with four aces.
“Rachel was a JV player last year who dressed varsity and she has really worked to get every part of her game up to the varsity level,” Tuchscherer said. “She has earned that spot this year and is a key component to our team this year.”
There were three other keys to the victory according to Tuchscherer.
She said the backrow play of Tory Brewer and the way Tori Packwood ran the offense was key.
“Tory (Brewer) has worked on her passing,” Tuchscherer said. “She led the conference last year with most digs. Once we found that out, her goal this year was to get that again. She is a hard worker. We couldn’t have won this today without here. Both of my Tory’s, Tory Packwood was a key figure, as well.”
The other key was the play of outside hitter Shelby Springer.
“Shelby is very smart,” Tuchscherer said. “She will turn and ask where the open spots are and what she needs to do. She will do whatever we need her to do to earn points for this team. She doesn’t mind tipping or throwing it to the line. She is very smart with her swing.”
In the consolation match, Eastern beat Salem in three games, 19-25, 25-18, 15-8.