The Rainier volleyball team faced adversity for the first time in the young season and conquered it as the Mountaineers defeated Raymond, 25-18, 25-12, 25-27, 25-23 on Thursday, Sept. 7.
Rainier, fresh off of a sweep of Northwest Christian in the season opener on Tuesday, fell behind early against the Seagulls in the first set 1-5. The slow start prompted a timeout from head coach Carrie Ooms.
“I think their nerves were getting the better part of them, with it being their second home game,” she said after the match. “I told them to just go back to our basics, go back to what you know and improve from there. Don’t play scared. Play competitive.”
The Mountaineers took Ooms’ advice to heart, outscoring the Seagulls 21-8 to clinch the first set before running away with the second set, 25-12. In a back-and-forth third, they failed to execute late in the set and lost their first set of the season, 25-27.
Early in the fourth, it looked like the match was headed for a decisive fifth set, with the Seagulls taking a 18-10 lead. But the Mountaineers roared back with seven straight points to bring the score to within one. Rainier completed the comeback, tying the set at 23 before securing the victory with the final two points.
“It feels pretty amazing to be 2-0,” Ooms said. “We’re hoping to keep being successful through the season. I told the girls that I was just super proud of them for not giving up and for pushing all the way through to get the win.”
Freshman Allyson Ooms fueled the offense with a team-high 15 kills, while junior Acacia Murphy registered 12 kills and a team-high 10 blocks. Seniors Olivia Earsley and Lilly Johnson combined for 59 digs to pace the team.
Rainier also defeated Ocosta High School in a sweep on Monday, Sept. 11 to improve to 3-0.
The Mountaineers will next face Napavine High School in their first road match of the season at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14.
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