Evergreen’s improving volleyball team picked up a passing grade in their latest progress report by knocking off Delta 25-20, 25-21, 13-25, 25-22 for their second win in NWOAL play last Tuesday night at home.
“I think we are definitely getting better in blocking,” said veteran Viking coach Kelsey Wulf. “I think our serve receive has gotten better. We still have a long way to go. I don’t think our record reflects how well we can play but the problem is right now we are not playing well all the time.”
The Vikings jumped out to a 13-6 lead in the first set thanks to Bailie Sutter’s two early kills, Hannah Herr’s overhead tip, Kelsie Komisarek’s tip and Kori Kreuz’ shot from the middle.
However, Delta came back as Brooklyn Wymer, Reagan Rouleau and Kinsey Finnen scored kills and the Panthers drew even at 17 on Abby Freeman’s ace.
From there the Vikings reclaimed the lead on a double hit violation, and went on to close out the first set behind shots from McKenna Babcock and Kreuz.
The second set was a mirror image of the first as Babcock and Myra Kuszmaul scored on a variety of shots, including a Babcock slam from the middle to give Evergreen a 14-7 lead.
Again Delta battled back into the set with Finnen throwing a blow from the left followed by another, and a third followed by a point from Brooklyn Green and one from Madi Nadolny to get within 19-18.
Two Viking hitting errors gave Delta a 20-19 lead, but Kreuz scored on a tip at the net and Komisarek hit a crosscourt push and a kill from the left to boost the Vikings over the top in the second set.
In the third set the teams traded early blows, and with the score tied at 7-7, Finnen took over.
Six kills and an ace later, the Panthers had blown out to a 22-10 lead from which they coasted to a third-set win.
“You are never going to stop (Finnen) all the way,” stated Wulf. “I think for the most part we did a pretty good job slowing her down and taking them out of their system. Delta was really, really scrappy tonight. They didn’t let a lot hit the floor which was frustrating to us.”
That frustration was caused mostly by Panther libero Raelyn Hutchinson who dug up a number of early Viking shots which on many nights would’ve been kills.
Instead because of Hutchinson, Evergreen’s second chance shots turned into balls hit out of bounds four different times opening the fourth set to help the Panthers take a 5-4 lead.
Evergreen rebounded, mostly behind Kreuz who scored on a left-handed tip then one with the right, a shot from the middle and a solo block, then a bullet from Sierra Tack to take a 10-6 lead.
Three kills from Finnen including a rocket from the left side helped the Panthers pull back to even at 12-12, then Babcock and Finnen, then Sutter and Finnen traded points before Evergreen forged in front for good on another Kreuz tip at 16-15.
From there, Kreuz stuffed an overpass and scored on a push, Courtney Krieger scored on a deep push to the corner and Tack went cross court from the right side to help close the fourth set win.
“McKenna Babcock had a lot of good swings tonight, Bailie Sutter did a nice job finding the holes,” explained Wulf. “But Kori Kreuz in that fourth set really came up big.”