Cougars pick up wins over Springdale, Riverside and Medical Lake
By Geno Ludwig/Staff Correspondent
Exhibiting a dramatic upsurge in their level of performance, Chewelah’s Lady Cougars stormed into the winners’ column last week with three consecutive victories. As the younger players continue to mature in their roles on the team, and their numbers on the statistics sheet continue to climb, the Cougars are becoming more competitive on the court.
That improvement was evident in wins over Springdale, Riverside, and Medical Lake last week. Energized by a five-set victory against the Chargers on Monday, the Cougars returned to league play to sweep the Rams and the Cardinals in straight sets.
The progress has also allowed Coach Shirley Baker to rotate more players onto the floor to give starters a needed rest in the heat of battle.
“This week, we are undefeated,” said Coach Baker, “bringing our league record to 2-4, and our overall record to 3-4.
“We finish out the first half of our season this Tuesday at home against Colville. This will be a great test for us and how much we have grown over the past three weeks.
“We start the second half of our season at Newport on Thursday.”
These two matches will determine if the Cougars have developed to the level of being able to defeat teams above them in the current conference standings. Both Colville and Newport are 3-3 in league play. Chewelah lost its first encounter with the Grizzlies, but the set scores were very tight.
Likewise, the scores at Springdale were close through the first three sets. The Chargers won the first and third sets by identical 25-21 scores. Chewelah won the second set by a 25-20 score, and thus trailed 2-1 in match points going into the fourth set.
Although Springdale is a 2B school, the Chargers seem to always play hard when Chewelah walks into their gym, and Monday’s match was no different.
Every point was contested during those first three sets. However, the Cougars rallied behind the hitting of Elizabeth Chalmers to run away with the fourth set, 25-9 to even up the match at two sets apiece. Then, Chewelah won the final set 15-12 to notch its first victory of the season.
Chalmers led the Cougars at the net with 10 kills. Freshman setter Elle Carpenter served up 18 assists to hitters, and Jaelynn Skok had four ace serves.
Skok spearheaded the Chewelah defense with 34 digs. Skyla Tunison and Andrea Franks each had a block.
On Tuesday night, the Lady Cougars earned their first league win of the season, defeating visiting Riverside in three straight sets: 25-9, 25-17, and 25-22.
It was a turning point night for the Cougars, who seemed to finally put all of the pieces of the game together for the first time in league play to destroy the taller Rams.
Bailey Smith hammered eight kills to lead the Chewelah offensive attack at the net. Carpenter set a dozen assists, and Chalmers had a season-high six serving aces.
Defensively, Skok finished the match with nine digs and Desautel had three blocks.
At Medical Lake (Sept. 22) on Thursday, the Cougars swept the Cardinals in another three-set triumph for their second league win of the week. Like against Riverside, Chewelah dominated the match from start to finish.
The combination of Chalmers and Smith again ignited the Cougar offense. Chalmers served 12 assists, and Smith turned eight of them into kills. Chalmers also served four aces.
Skok anchored the Chewelah defense with 13 digs. She also had four ace serves. Tunison had two blocks.
Springdale falls to Wilbur-Creston and Davenport (Sept. 22-24)
The Chargers dropped two matches last week, one to undefeated Wilbur-Creston on Thursday 25-5, 25-10, 25-7 at Wilbur-Creston and then a 25-14, 25-8, 25-18 home loss to Davenport on Saturday.
Mattea Gines led Springdale with 22 digs in the match againt Wilbur-Creston.
Against 10-1 Davenport, Chelsia Albee notched nine kills while Shante Carthens had 10 assists for the Chargers.
Gines added 12 digs.
Springdale after beginning the season 3-0 has an evened record at 3-3.
Hunters falls to Valley Christian (Sept. 20)
Columbia High School dropped a 25-20, 25-9, 25-15 1B volleyball matchup to Valley Christian last Tuesday.
James led the Lions with 10 assists, while Steele added 10 digs McLain had three blocks. They’re now 1-4 on the season.