CHELAN — After the first three sets of Thursday’s volleyball match between Cascade and Chelan, there was virtually no evidence that one team was better than the other.
At that point, the Goats had tallied 71 combined points, while the Kodiaks had 69. The biggest lead that one team had over the other in those first three sets was just five points; most of the time, though, one team held a one- or two-point advantage. The squads were so evenly matched that the match seemed destined to go to a deciding fifth set.
However, Chelan was able to find a way to run off a mini-spurt in the middle of the fourth set and managed to make that small advantage hold up for a memorable 25-27, 27-25, 29-27, 25-21 victory.
“This is amazing. This is what I’ve been dreaming of,” said the Goats’ Abby Phelps, who tallied 12 kills, 28 assists, two blocks and eight digs. “Ever since I was in the sixth grade, when I was a team manager, I would watch the girls play in close games, and I knew that’s exactly what I wanted to do (someday). To (win) is just a cherry on the top.”
Neither team would let the other gain any momentum whatsoever. Points were traded back and forth on a consistent basis. Both head coaches knew that their players would have to give absolutely everything they had in order to win, and the two teams gave that kind of effort throughout the entire match.
“After a match like that,” said Chelan coach Donene Hendricks, “I think everybody’s tank is on empty. They’re a fantastic team, and we knew that we’d have to play great to compete with them. It was a fun match, a real battle on both sides. When the score is so close like that, you just have to play one point at a time.”
Cascade, which entered the match ranked second in the Washington State Volleyball Coaches Association state rankings, beat No. 4 Chelan earlier in the season for the first time since 2008. But both teams knew coming in that the Goats had improved since then.
“There’s no excuses, but in that first match we weren’t the team that we are now,” Phelps said. “We’ve grown a lot. We had a lot of confidence coming in. We just knew we had to keep playing our game and not let up.”
The Kodiaks were undone by 14 errors in the final set.
“We shot ourselves in the foot, especially with serving,” said Cascade coach Marni McMahon. “Chelan is a good team, and they challenged us and I don’t want to take anything away from them. But when you give 14 points away, you’re going to lose.”
Courtney Dietrich had 23 kills, 7 blocks and 10 digs for the Goats. Arielle Turner had 28 kills to lead the Kodiaks, who also received nine kills and four blocks from Gabrielle Brulotte.
Mead 3, Wenatchee 0
Wenatchee had its seven-match winning streak snapped in a 25-11, 25-20, 25-13 nonleague loss to Mead in a match held at Central Washington University.
Eastmont 3, Davis 0
The Wildcats spread out their kills in a 25-16, 25-8, 25-22 sweep in Yakima.
“Basically we ended up with a nice balance across the team in kills, and we played pretty consistently,” Eastmont coach Tim Davison said.
Hannah Norval had 10 kills and no errors to lead the Wildcats.
Bridgeport 3, Lake Roosevelt 0
Consistency at the service line helped Bridgeport win its match at Lake Roosevelt.
Bethany Swezey was 18-21 serving, while Yvonne Kilgore went 15-15 during the three sets.
Fillies coach Calvin Stark said that over the course of the season, his team has consistently scored at least twice as many aces as they have been served.
Girls swim and dive
Wenatchee 128, Eastmont 58
The Panthers claimed wins in all but three of the dozen events to stay perfect in Big Nine action at the Eastmont YMCA Aquatic Center.
Hannah Bruggman was victorious in the 50 freestyle (25.26 seconds) and 500 freestyle (5:33.43), and also helped the Panthers win the 200 medley (1:58.64) and 400 freestyle (3:57.23) relays.
Wenatchee’s Ali Brandt won diving with 166.25 points, even though Eastmont’s Deborah Lawless posted a season-high 143.9.
Kelly Hartman (100 freestyle, 57.13 seconds), Alexis Raber (100 backstroke, 1:05.06) and the 200 freestyle relay team of Brooke Myers, Adrian Marquis, Raber and Hartman (1:49.6) accounted for the Wildcats’ victories.
“This team continues to try and build that depth,” Eastmont coach Chris Stark said. “Wenatchee has that depth, and they can take those second- and third-place spots and it adds up in the meet.”
Wenatchee meet at Enchantment Park
Wenatchee’s Tristan Cunderla (14:57) and Cashmere’s Angela Knishka (17:22) won the boys and girls 2.75-mile races, respectively, in a three-team meet that also included Cascade.
The meet was originally scheduled to take place at Walla Walla Point Park, but was moved to Leavenworth due to poor air quality.
World sports writers Joe Pflueger and Brent Stecker contributed to this report.