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Ellensburg blanks Lady Grizzlies, 3-0

Stevie Fischer's blistering attack from the service line carried the Ellensburg High School girls volleyball team to a 3-0 sweep over the Sunnyside Lady Grizzlies last night.

The Bulldogs improved to 2-2 in Mid-Valley League play with Tuesday's night victory, while the Lady Grizzlies slipped to 0-2. Sunnyside will attempt to nab its first conference win this Thursday night against visiting Prosser. The Lady Grizzlies will play their third consecutive home league match this coming Saturday afternoon against Hanford.

With the exception of the middle game of the three-set match last night, Sunnyside gave the visiting 'Dogs all they could handle.

In the opener, Sunnyside forged an 8-4 lead. The Lady Grizzlies' jumped out to the early advantage, thanks mostly to the back-to-back kills slammed by junior Christy Linde and a service ace ripped by senior Erica Mendez. Ellensburg rallied, though, and down the stretch the two clubs stayed within a point or two of each other. In the end, it was the Bulldogs pulling away for a 25-21 decision. Linde had four of her five kills last night in the opening game.

Unable to get any kind of a run going when serving the ball, Sunnyside was quickly dispatched in the second contest, coming up on the short end of a 25-10 score.

"We got all of our points on sideouts," lamented Sunnyside Coach Angel Carrizales. "We never once served a run."

Fischer was a dynamo for the 'Dogs in the second game, coming through with nine consecutive service points.

"A lot of that had to do with our serve-receive errors," Carrizales said. She explained that her Lady Grizzlies will be working on returning serves in upcoming practices.

Ellensburg swung out to an 8-4 lead in the third set, "...but we hung in there," said Carrizales. The Lady Grizzlies eventually knotted the score at 14-all. During that game tying rally, Linde collected five straight service points, which included notching one ace from the service line. After Ellensburg rallied to forge a 19-18 lead, the Bulldogs closed out the action with six consecutive service points from Fischer to end the game at 25-18.

Despite sustaining the loss last night, Carrizales said there were positives that came out of the match. "One of our goals was to keep our service errors to just six. We only missed four serves, so that was a very good thing," she said.

The Lady Grizzlies' top server was Linde. A jump-server, she blasted all 13 of her attempts successfully over the net.

On the negative side, though, Sunnyside's girls showed they need to improve on their serve-receive efforts.

Individually for Sunnyside, Mendez and Talia Spini turned in the best performances at the net against Ellensburg. They each had five kills and two blocks. The team's primary setter, Kacee Jo Bootsma, was credited with 14 assists, and Sunnyside teammate Devina Martinez collected 24 digs.

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