By David Heiling

Empire Press Correspondent

BREWSTER — The last time the Waterville/Mansfield volleyball team played the Brewster Bears, Shockers coach Melissa Flaget was displeased at the way her team played. In that match, Waterville/Mansfield mustered just 18 points against one of the best teams in the Central Washington 2B League. In terms of execution and effort, the Shockers did not show up.

In the Oct. 3 game against the Bears, Waterville/Mansfield made strides. The Shockers lost in straight sets again — 13-25, 7-25, 10-25 — but gritted out a hard-earned 30 points against the perennially-dominant Bears. Flaget said although the Shockers didn’t win the match, the team accomplished both of the goals they set coming into the match.

“Coming into the match we had two goals,” Flaget said. “The first was to put more points on the board offensively, and second, play stronger defensively.”

Without senior setter Justine Clements, the Shockers were without one of their best defensive players. Flaget said senior Alyssa Hansen, junior Ali Mires, sophomore Sarah Mullen and freshman Alex Poppie stepped it up on the defensive side of the net for Waterville/Mansfield in Clements’ absence.

“They dug up a lot of the hits that came our way,” Flaget said.

The Shockers have proved they can play competitive volleyball within the CW2BL, and just showing improvement against one of the top teams in the league on Tuesday can be seen as a huge positive for Flaget and the Shockers. The success of the young Waterville/Mansfield volleyball team continues to be improvement in every practice and every game.