OYEHUT — Surviving the absence of one of its standouts and a marathon semifinal with Aberdeen, Hoquiam captured the North Beach Invitational volleyball tournament on Saturday.
The Grizzlies topped Northwest Christian, 25-20, 25-23, in the title match. They had advanced to the finals by outlasting the Bobcats, 33-31, 26-24, in the semis.
Northwest Christian downed Ocosta in the other semifinal.
Hoquiam was without Tiffani Dhooghe, a second-team all-Evergreen 1A League performer last year, due to illness. Libero Brandi Creviston shifted into Dhooghe’s outside hitting role, while freshman Hannah Hliboki took over at libero.
The Grizzlies took some time to adapt, finishing fourth in pool play. They hit their stride, however, in single-elimination competition.
“We had to overcome adversity with new lineups (but) having to change lineups was really good for us,” HHS coach Christine Nelson said. “I thought we really grew as a team.”
She cited Chelsy Stewart for all-around play and Mikaila Johnson and Jessica Madison for hitting. Freshman Megan Gibson was also commended for her setting throughout the tournament.
Aberdeen was top-seeded entering single-elimination competition.
“I’m very proud of how our girls came back in the second set after a heartbreaking loss in the first,” Bobcat coach Wilma Weber said. “Everyone saw lots of playing time and we are making good strides.”