MILWAUKIE – In an evenly-matched state play-in contest against No. 20-ranked Rex-Putnam, The Dalles volleyball team won the opening set by a 25-23 score, but the Kingsmen then ended up rebounding to take the final three sets by margins of 25-17, 25-18, 25-22 in a 5A contest played in Milwaukie.
“We ended our season playing well. We had a little bit of trouble maintaining our intensity and consistency through the entire match,” said TD head coach Neticia Fanene. “We fought hard and never gave up. Putnam just made fewer errors than we did tonight.”
Entering the match, the Riverhawks had lost five matches in a row, two in five sets, so coach Fanene said the game plan was serve tough and keep them out of their preferred system as much as possible.
The Dalles (6-14 overall) totaled 38 kills, nine blocks and the setting tandem of Lindsi Logue and Hannah Wallis chipped in a combined 30 assists.
“We executed that plan well and even had a great offensive night from Jodi Thomasian and Bailey LeBreton at 14 kills a piece with a handful of team blocks,” Fanene said. “We had a pretty good lead in the third set, but couldn’t sustain the momentum to close it out. Putnam was a good matchup for us. We both played a great match and they just came out on top.”
In addition to her 14 kills, Thomasian, a senior, added seven digs, a block and a block assist, and fellow senior, Kathryn Bradford, posted six kills, seven digs, an ace, and a block assist.
LeBreton hit for 14 kills, three blocks, three block assists and five digs, and Audrey Synon ended up finishing with 13 digs, four assists, two kills, two aces, a block and a block assist.
Lauryn Belanger had two digs and a kill, Breanna Birchfield tallied a dig and a block assist, Maggie Justesen notched a dig and a block assist, and Kilee Hoylman tacked on 10 digs.
In addition to her 23 assists, Logue had eight digs, an ace and a block assist, and Wallis totaled seven assists and a pair of digs.
Only losing standouts Bradford and Thomasian off the varsity roster, Fanene is eyeing a promising 2018 volleyball campaign, where the program will gain an influx of talented players.
There is size at the net, with LeBreton, Synon and Belanger, a solid libero in Hoylman, two setters in Wallis and Logue and plenty of other athletes that will make solid contributions to get the team back into state playoff contention.
“I’m very excited about next year,” Fanene said. “This season we worked through some tough situations. We spent the time, both on and off the court, to build our team chemistry. It is awesome that we will have nearly everyone back. It sounds like we have a significant team interest in playing more in the offseason and with our local club team. We’ve got a fantastic group of girls returning next year and we will only be better.”