WENATCHEE — Fresh off wins, both Wenatchee and Eastmont didn’t need much more motivation or momentum Thursday night when they met for their first cross-river rivalry game of the season.

And though the Wildcats battled every set, the Panthers handed them their first Big 9 loss, winning in straight sets (25-17, 25-15, 25-9).

“It was a good win,” Wenatchee head coach Marni McMahon said. “But a few too many errors in the first set.”

Wenatchee got out to an early lead in the first set, but Eastmont quickly tied it up at 2-2 with two great plays at the net from Ashlynn Grasseth. It was short-lived when Wenatchee went on a brief run to regain the lead.

“We just have to fix that mentality,” Eastmont head coach Karinne Davis said. “Wenatchee can get on a couple point run and we think that’s the end.”

Wenatchee led early but Eastmont knotted up the score at 11-11. Eastmont took a brief lead but Wenatchee battled back and finished the set with an 8-1 run.

“We were afraid of their block,” Davis said. “But we were able to overcome our nerves and realize it wasn’t anything we haven’t seen before. When we got past that we were able to attack them as they attack us. I was proud of them for that.”

The second set had five ties before Wenatchee found its rhythm after a couple solid spikes from Demirjian Keirra and Abby Black.

“Overall, I think statistically we played better Tuesday night, but they were able to dial-in and keep their discipline in sets two and three”, McMahon said.

Wenatchee went on a run early in the third set and coasted to a third set win.

“It came down to our serving game,” McMahon said. “Locating our serves. We did that really well tonight."

Wenatchee’s Irelyn Branam had 16 assists and four aces. Ashton McMahon and Black both finished with seven kills, and Black added three blocks. Ava Joe Berry also had eight digs and two aces, while Elise Baier finished with 13 assists.

Wenatchee and Eastmont will both head to Spokane this Saturday for the Linda Sheridan Invite.

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