KENNEWICK - The Sunnyside Grizzlies volleyball team traveled to Kennewick last night and got a taste of what 4A competition might be like against Kamiakin. The Braves beat the Lady Grizzlies in straight games 25-10, 25-7 and 25-19.
Kamiakin dropped down to 3A this year but played like they were still in 4A.
"We knew it was going to be a challenge," Sunnyside Coach Angel Carrizales said.
In the first game the Lady Grizzlies started off strong behind the serving of Molly Dolan.
"Dolan was a huge contributor with serving," Carrizales said.
Sunnyside had a 4-3 lead in that first game until Kamiakin's Emily Jepsen rattled off 9 points on her serve.
"After that it was hard to get anything going," Carrizales said.
In the second game Sunnyside again started off strong, but with the score tied at 3, Sunnyside started having trouble with the serve.
"We kept siding out, but we couldn't score on our serve," Carrizales explained.
The Braves didn't have a problem with their serve and made quick work of Sunnyside in the second game.
"We couldn't get into our offense last night," Carrizales admitted. "Kamiakin had the momentum most of the night except for the beginnings of each game."
Sunnyside showed some intensity in the third game, clawing to within two points of the Braves at 21-19.
"Marina Martinez was huge for us on defense," Carrizales said. "She was a cheerleader for us last night. She returned serve really well, recording 7 perfect service passes and getting 14 digs."
It wasn't enough as the Braves earned four more points to win the third game and sweep the Lady Grizzlies.
Dolan finished the night with 3 aces, 3 kills and 1 block. Jordyne Jaquish added 3 kills and 1 block while setter Sami Jo Sartin helped with 10 assists.
"We hustled throughout the games the whole time and played good defense," Carrizales said. "Our weak point was communication. In the first and second games girls would let balls drop between each other because they weren't communicating. There's a trust issue."
Carrizales promised communication would be something they would work on and said they'll have a good opportunity to work on that at the SunDome Festival this weekend in Yakima.
"Looking at the match-ups with our players we have a lot of potential to get better," the Sunnyside coach said. "We're going to shock a lot of people this year. We have a good defense and once our offense starts communicating with each other I think we'll be competitors."
The Lady Grizzlies (0-1, 0-1) return to league play next Tuesday, Sept. 12, when they travel to Hanford.