2B Volleyball Mountaineers Conquer Loggers With Late-Game Momentum in Comeback

By Eric Rosane / erosane@yelmonline.com
Posted 3/9/21

The Onalaska Loggers were looking for a victory after pulling into a tie Thursday against Rainier, but they couldn’t outpace the Mountaineers in the fifth set. 

Rainier (4-4) had a 2-0 lead …

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2B Volleyball Mountaineers Conquer Loggers With Late-Game Momentum in Comeback

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The Onalaska Loggers were looking for a victory after pulling into a tie Thursday against Rainier, but they couldn’t outpace the Mountaineers in the fifth set. 

Rainier (4-4) had a 2-0 lead early on with 25-9 and 25-19 sets, but Onalaska (1-7) found some momentum in the third set thanks to a flurry of kills by sophomore outside hitter Morgan Hamilton, bringing the Loggers their first set win at 25-22. 

That confidence transferred over to the fourth set with a 25-19 Onalaska win. The Mountaineers stuck it out with some offensive prowess from junior backside Kaeley Schultz and junior outside Natasha Wood and ultimately held off the Loggers in the final set 15-11. 

Thursday’s final set felt similar to the last time the two 2B competitors met nearly a month ago: Onalaska in both cases rallied back from a 2-1 deficit, but this time around couldn’t keep that late-game momentum pumping. 

“It would have been huge to win tonight. Honestly, it seems like our team has been waiting until game three to come alive. I have a young squad, but I have to get us out right away,” Loggers Head Coach Jennifer Hamilton said. “Our passing isn’t where it needs to be. As you can see, we have hitters … It takes them so long to warm up.” 

Hamilton, a first-year head coach, said her roster has been strong, but slow to get going. Case in point was a 3-0 sweep against Adna just two days prior. The Loggers have only played one game so far this season with a full, healthy lineup. 

A win against Rainier would have meant solid momentum going into their final four conference games next week against Toutle Lake and undefeated Kalama with their postseason prospects hanging on just a couple wins. 



“I see a ton of positive things though,” the Loggers’ head coach said.  

Freshman Dakota Hamilton led the Loggers with 24 hits and junior middle blocker Hannah James had three blocks. 

With the Mountaineers, Schultz had 10 kills over 30 attempts, and Wood had seven kills over nearly the same number of attempts. Senior Amanda Knutz led the team with 18 points and eight assists. 

Rainier Head Coach Shauna Carpenter said it was important to get a win on a senior night and after two away matches. The five sets were exhausting but well worth it, she said. 

“We talk alot about surfing and how we have to stay on top of the wave. We can’t allow ourselves to come down into the pipe because once we’ve allowed ourselves down into the pipe we fall off our boards,” she said, noting that they sunk into the metaphorical pipe a few times. “We’re changing the culture a little bit this year. They’re so used to looking to the bench for an answer, and I’m not going to give them that answer because I know they’re a strong enough player to know that answer.” 

Schultz was spot-on from the back, Carpenter said, with Wood working hard on defense the whole night. She also gave credit to her underclassmen, specifically freshman Haleigh Hanson who came into the fifth set and got two crucial kills for the Mountaineers. 

Rainier’s biggest opening that night was undoubtedly their middle coverage. Morgan Hamilton drilled the Mountaineers with countless kills in the third and fourth set while Rainier couldn’t seem to find the digs. 

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