Knights spike Red Devils

Sunnyside Christian girls win 1B state volleyball opener

Sunnyside Christian's Katelyn Banks, a 6-foot senior, tips the ball over the heads of Neah Bay's Morgan Buzzell, left, and Vonte Aguirre.

Photo by Roger Harnack
Sunnyside Christian's Katelyn Banks, a 6-foot senior, tips the ball over the heads of Neah Bay's Morgan Buzzell, left, and Vonte Aguirre.

— The Sunnyside Christian girls spiked Neah Bay in the opening round of the state 1B volleyball tournament, 3-0, today in the SunDome.

The Knights got off to a slow start in Game 1, but roared back to crush the spirit of the Red Devils in a close 25-23 victory. The emotional high from that victory carried the girls to victory in each of the next two games, 25-20 and 26-24.

“It went well,” Knights head coach Stephanie Dalrymple said. “It’s nice to pull that out.”

Neah Bay coach Michelle Thompson gave credit to Sunnyside Christian for its dominating presence at the net.

“It was a little rough out there,” she said of the Knights’ powerful spikes. “We got some good blocks, but we really struggled with height on the court.”

Dalrymple gave credit to Neah Bay, too.

“We knew there were going to be a scrappy team,” she said. “We knew we had to hit the ball hard.”

In the final game, Sunnyside Christian jumped out to a 16-9 lead. But Neah Bay battled back; the Red Devils slowly closed the gap.

Red Devil Savannah Goodrich, a 5-foot-4 senior, served for six back-to-back points to close the score to 19-18. The Knights called time out to interrupt the rally.

“I told them to relax on serve returns,” Dalrymple said. “Relax and to be confident in themselves.”

The advice worked. Tied 24-24, 6-foot sophomore Emily Banks tipped the ball past Neah Bay 5-foot-9 sophomore Kayla Winck for one point and 6-foot-1 junior Kristen Broersma put the game away with a powerful spike on the ensuing volley.

Sunnyside Christian took the game, 26-24, to advance in the championship bracket.

“We never really got our offense running,” Thompson said of her Red Devils. “I think that was the difference.”

After the victory, Knights freshman Rachel Werkhoven was presented with the sportsmanship award.

Sunnyside Christian advances to the quarterfinals and will take the court again at 8:15 tonight against Oakesdale, which defeated Naselle, 3-0.

The Red Devils will return to the court at 5 p.m. to play Naselle in a loser-out game in the consolation bracket.

In the meantime, the Knights will return home for the afternoon to try to shake off the stress of the tournament.

“It’s nice to be close to home,” Dalrymple said.

In other state 1B volleyball games this morning:

  • Pateros edged Evergreen Lutheran, 3-2
  • Mount Vernon Christian downed Lyle-Wishram, 3-0
  • Pomeroy dominated Quilcene, 3-0
  • Almira/Coulee-Hartline crushed Three Rivers Christian, 3-0


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