WALLA WALLA - The Sunnyside High School Lady Grizzlies volleyball team got some much needed experience this past Saturday at the Walla Walla Invite.
Playing against six teams with a modified format, Sunnyside went 1-6 in the tournament.
In the first three matches, each team played just one game. Sunnyside lost to Richland in their first match, 30-21.
"We started out a little slow, but rallied back," Sunnyside Assistant Coach Rebecca Partch said. "Richland was a pretty big hitting team."
At one point Sunnyside was down 17-3 until coming back to make it respectable.
Molly Dolan had six kills in the game and Jordan Jacquish had four blocks.
In the second game, Sunnyside beat Coure 'd Alene, Idaho, 30-28.
"It was the best game I've ever seen them play," Partch said. "Everything was working."
Melissa Stamschror had nine assists, Cassie Guillen didn't let any balls touch the floor on her side and Hannah Marro came off the bench to serve seven points in a row.
"Our quick set was working," Partch explained. "Every girl on the roster contributed."
In the third game, Sunnyside lost to Herminston, Ore., 15-3.
Partch said her team was just flat.
"I made some rotation changes, switched some players," she said. "Reflecting back, I should have kept the same line-up."
She said Herminston should have been beatable but Sunnyside was down the whole game. At one point it was 11-4 and the margin kept spreading.
In the consolation round, Sunnyside lost to Lake City 25-20 and 27-25 in match that was tight the whole time.
She said the Lady Grizzlies played well as a team but some mistakes at the end did them in.
In the second game, Sunnyside was ahead with game point but lost the serve and allowed Lake City to rally back for the win.
In the fifth match of the tournament, fatigue started to show on the Grizzlies as they lost to Kennewick 25-20 and 25-18.
"Kennewick was just moving faster than we were," Partch said.
The first game the Lions had the lead and kept it through the game. The second game was neck and neck with the Lions pulling away in the end.
Sunnyside lost its last match in a heartbreaker to Eastmont 27-25 and 27-25.
"Both games were tight and could have gone either way," Partch said. "It's encouraging for me as a coach, we played well together and they believed in each other. We're having fun and when you have fun you play well."
Even though the Lady Grizzlies went 1-6 at the tournament, Partch said they had a confident showing.
Sunnyside will continue with league play this Tuesday, Sept. 11 when the Grizzlies will host the Hanford Falcons at 7 p.m.