LEAVENWORTH — Over the past 10-15 years, the Cascade-Chelan rivalry was the big-ticket in the Caribou Trail League. Both teams had won state championships during that span. This season, the Goats are one of the top contenders for a state title, while the Kodiaks are more in rebuild mode.
Chelan’s resume is pretty impressive with straight-set victories over teams like Wenatchee, Connell, and Brewster not to mention their tournament wins. The Goats are currently the second-rated 1A team according to Max Preps.
The Kodiaks meanwhile are 1-6 on the season. The Goats dominated the Kodiaks Tuesday night from the opening set, which they won decisively at 25-5. The unforced errors were really hurting Cascade as they piled up 12 in the first set alone.
“We didn’t come out like the way we had prepared. I think we didn’t play good volleyball. There were a lot of things we prepared for that we just didn’t execute. It just tells me that we were not engaged mentally in the correct way,” said Cascade Head Coach Ashley Coffin.
The second set was closer, but ultimately it was the solid play of the Goats that won out. They were excellent in every aspect, hitting, setting, digging, serving. The Kodiaks meanwhile only managed the seldom in-system hit.
Chelan won the second set 25-15. The Kodiaks had 10 errors, while the Goats had six.
“We weren’t being disciplined in our defense and not being intentional with our offense. I think we could have shown a better team tonight. Nothing against Chelan. They are a great team. They have a lot going for them,” Coffin said.
Cascade cut down the errors in the third set which helped them stay close. Chelan led 18-13 at one point. However, it was the powerful Goats team to finish it out at 25-15.
Chelan junior outside hitter Elly Collins had a great all-around game with 10 kills, 1 assist, 2 blocks, 5 digs and 13-for-15 serving with 2 aces. Senior outside hitter Emma McLaren had 5 kills, 9 digs and 16-for-16 serving with 5 aces.
“It’s always fun to come back and compete in this gym for sure. It always brings good energy. It was a blast. They are still good competitors, even though they lost some seniors from last year. It’s still fun to play them,” McLaren said.
Senior setter Leanna Garfoot had 25 assists.
“I love playing Cascade. I like the friendly competition between us, even they are a little bit less strong as a team, it was still fun to come here and compete,” Garfoot said.
Cascade needed to play the perfect game to have a chance, but that did not happen. Coffin said they were definitely a lot of things they could have done better.
“We shot ourselves in the foot a lot. We didn’t look prepared. It was frustrating. They are definitely a good team. It should be fun to play against those kinds of teams. You can rise to the challenge and compete.,” Coffin said.
Chelan improved to 8-0 in dual matches this season. For Head Coach Jenifer Rainville, even though it was a solid victory, there are still things to work on.
“We started great in the first set, but we struggled in the second and third sets, so we have some things to work on,” Rainville said. “Tonight, we struggled a little on serving. We had a couple back to back serving errors so we need to clean that up.”
The ultimate goal for the Goats this season is to win state, Garfoot said.
“We’re trying not to overlook the small things like league and district. Then, we’ll go from there,” Garfoot said.
Last year, Chelan lost in the first round at state to the eventual champion, Lynden Christian. This season, McLaren believes Kings is their main rival for the title.
“We know a lot of the girls on that team. We’ve had a chance to watch them. We know they are high up there,” McLaren said of Kings.
In the Max Preps ranking, Lakeside (9-1) is the number one team. Cascade and Chelan are back in action next Tuesday at Chelan, so plenty of time to regroup for the Kodiaks.
“I just hope we come out and compete and show a little more grit. I hope we play more disciplined ball and a little smarter with the ball. As a team, we do stuff with intention. We were trying too hard in some sense. I hope we play a good hard game,” Coffin said.