OLYMPIA — The goal for Tumwater’s High’s volleyball team is to a be a “great November team,” according to coach Tana Otton.
While there were early-October glimpses of what the Thunderbirds — who have a rich playoff tradition — might do in the postseason, there is work still to be done.
And in roaring back from a two-sets-to-none deficit to beat Capital, 3-2, in a 2A Evergreen Conference battle of teams in the top-five state rankings Tuesday night at Capital High, the T-Birds saw a new side of themselves: finding a way to win while facing adversity.
“We haven’t gotten into a five-game situation,” said T-Birds senior Kylie Bishopp, who had a match-high 15 kills in the 23-25, 23-25, 25-21, 25-18, 15-11 win. “We dug deep, and that’s what it took to come together. We needed that two-game loss to realize league isn’t going to be a piece of
To go along with her 15 kills, Bishopp, a Davidson College commit, also had five serving aces in a match that saw the T-Birds (6-1 overall, 6-0 2A EvCo) have just three serving errors. Kaylene Glasgo had 14 kills, much of them coming in the final three sets, and Morgan Pilon had 46 assists and four kills.
Capital took a 2-0 lead by getting big plays at the net from Paige Schieferstein and Kaycee Wohl, who finished with seven kills apiece. But the momentum shifted to Tumwater’s side when it took its first lead at 20-19 in the third set and never relinquished it.
The T-Birds started off the fourth set with an 11-3 run and extended their lead to 16-8 on back-to-back serving aces by Bishopp. Neither team had more than a three-point lead in the first-to-15 final set until a Capital hitting error pushed the Tumwater advantage to 14-10.
Tumwater, which has played for the 2A state title in 2011-12, was on the verge of having its 21-match winning streak in EvCo play snapped with the early two-set deficit. The T-Birds’ last league defeat was Oct. 27 in a 3-2 loss to North Thurston. Losing the first two sets was a good thing, Bishopp said.
“It was an extra push for us,” she said.
For the Cougars (5-3, 5-1), they’ve been down this five-set road before. All three of their losses have come in five sets; the first two were against Olympia and Timberline to open the season in September. And in all three losses, Capital had chances to close out a match for a win.
“We need to learn how to finish a match,” said Capital coach Natalie Rhodes.
Rachel Erickson led Capital with 10 kills and 13 digs.Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 firstname.lastname@example.org www.theolympian.com/south-sound-sports-blog @megwochnick