A strong net game helped spark the West Valley volleyball team to a five-set victory over the visiting Lathrop Malemutes for the Wolfpack’s first victory of the season.
West Valley won 25-21 in the first set of the Mid Alaska Conference match. Lathrop collected a 25-22 win in the second and the Wolfpack bounced back for a 25-23 victory in the third set.
The Malemutes surged to a 25-16 win in the fifth set and the Wolfpack rallied for a 15-8 win in the fifth set to improve to 1-7 overall and 1-3 MAC. The Malemutes, who were coming off Tuesday’s five-set home and conference win over the North Pole Patriots, slipped to 11-3-1 overall and 3-2 MAC.
West Valley junior middle blockers Rachel Cockman and Charlotte Curry combined for 15 total blocks. Cockman had eight blocks, with six for points, and Curry made seven blocks, with four for points.
“Our net presence was much better. It was probably our best match at the net this season,” West Valley head coach Dave Cox said by phone Thursday.
“We were not only getting touches on their attacks but we were countering for the most part.”
The Wolfpack, the 20-time defending MAC tournament champions, also got 14 kills from Skyler Wolf, 10 from Pam Noll, nine from Cockman and eight from Claire Olson.
Erin Pomeroy and Ali May each distributed 19 assists. Pomeroy also made 19 serves with two aces and no errors.
Wolf had 13 digs and Noll provided 10, while May and Kenya Pulgarin had eight and seven, respectively, in West Valley’s first five-set match of the season.
“They’ll recognize that they’re competitive. I always felt we had the talent, they just have to work together,” Cox said of the win.
West Valley hosts Monroe Catholic in a nonconference match at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
No statistics for Lathrop were reported by press time.
Tia Campanelli and Cayla Hernandez each served seven aces to help the Monrone Catholic Rams beat the Kotzebue Huskies 25-22, 25-21, 25-15 at Grace Christian High School in Anchorage.
Chloe Maynard contributed 20 kills, and Campanelli had 20 assists and Kaleigh DeLeon recorded 15 digs for the Rams, 8-5 overall and 6-2 Aurora Conference.
Monroe and Kotzebue are among 20 teams in the Lady Grizzly Classic at Grace Christian today and Saturday.
One-set round robin matches are scheduled today. Round robin play continues Saturday morning and bracket play starts later in the day.
Monroe opens the tournament against the Kodiak Bears at 1:35 p.m. today.
Lathrop closed the regular season with an 8-6 victory over West Valley on Saturday at Lathrop High School.
The Malemutes, 9-3 overall and 9-0 Mid Alaska Conference, scored in the first half with a safety and Aniya Tuck’s pass to Liana Tuck.
The Wolfpack scored with an 80-yard interception return by Sheridan Blasey.