MENLO — Willapa Valley extinguished the Tenoski Gym lights for pre-game introductions, but South Bend supplied the power from that point on.
Going on a 31-5 run midway through the contest, the Indians remained unbeaten in Pacific League volleyball competition with a 25-22, 25-11, 25-21 victory over Willapa Valley on Thursday night.
The Tribe (5-0, 6-1) put on an impressive play of power hitting.
Junior middle blocker Makenzie Russell collected 11 kills and five blocks. Myranda Curtis’ sets to Russell were like money in the bank for the Indians.
Katlyn Sawyer added six kills, Kessa Wilson six blocks and Emily Sanchez four kills for South Bend.
“It’s nice when every single kid on the team contributes to a win over Valley,” Tribe coach Jackie Sanchez said. “I thought our passing was excellent.”
The much-improved Vikings did some good things as well, but most of those came when they were well behind. Valley (3-2, 3-3) rallied from deficits of 20-13 in the first set and 18-6 in the third, only to fall short on both occasions.
The Vikings weren’t quite as adept at prolonging points as they have been in some early season victories. Valley coach Lori Snodgrass, noting some positive hitting statistics, gave much of the credit to South Bend.
“I don’t think my girls had a bad game,” Snodgrass said. “(South Bend) had a really good match and just had some hard hits against us.”
The match contained several dramatic momentum shifts.
The Vikings missed a chance to gain an early jump when they were caught out of rotation, negating a first-set point and giving South Bend a side-out.
The Indians rode Russell’s hitting to a 21-15 lead. After a side-out, Valley’s Karli Friese served five straight points to tie it.
Wilson’s spike and block accounted for two of the next three South Bend points before Russell’s stuff block closed out the set.
Down 10-9 midway through the second set, the Indians went on a torrid streak in which they reeled off 16 of the set’s final 17 points.
They maintained the momentum into the third set and were cruising with leads of 15-4, 18-6 and 20-12. Capitalizing on some South Bend miscues, the Vikings got as close as 21-20 when Friese converted a set from Emily Fluke.
After an exchange of points, Russell again pounded down a set from Curtis. A return error took South Bend to match point, which Sawyer converted by knocking off an overpass.
Friese put all 15 of her serves into play and also delivered five kills. Fluke was cited for setting and Montana Christian for back-row defense.
South Bend’s Emily Sanchez and Kaelani Collins were commended for passing and defense, while Coach Sanchez also praised Curtis for running the offense.
The Tribe took the JV match in two sets.
Both teams return to action Tuesday, when South Bend hosts Naselle and Valley is home against Raymond.