Abby Phelps was the leader behind Chelan’s Regional Championship
win over Cascade in Leavenworth on Saturday.
Goats take Regional Volleyball Championship
Show no mercy to
Cascade Kodiaks in championship match
by Richard Uhlhorn
“We’re back,” said Coach Donene Hendricks after the
Lady Goats defeated the Freeman Scotties in a tough four game match at the
Bi-District Regional Volleyball Tournament in Leavenworth on Saturday, November
The win over the Scotties who were the number one
team out of their District was a great confidence builder for the Lady Goats
which is why Coach Hendricks said, “We’re back” so emphatically. She had a
right to be pleased.
Freeman came out strong in game one, forging a lead
from the very beginning of that match. Chelan’s hitters were having a hard time
finding a hole in Freeman’s defenses. The Scotties were digging everything Abby
Phelps, MaKenzie Harris, Jenny Sunberg and Emma Stockholm could hit to them
along with the back court of Tess Young, Megan Robinson, Aleea Ferguson and
Abby when she was in the back court trying to handle the strong hitting of
Freeman outside hitter Kaela Saw’s kill shots.
With Chelan trailing 15-9, Hendricks called a time
out to settle the team down and give some encouraging words to. She called
another time out at the 20-15 mark which changed the dynamics of game one and
Chelan found itself in a 21-21 tie before Freeman’s coach, Eva Windlin-Jansen
called a time out.
Chelan ended up losing this game 26-24 on a blocked
kill attempt by Saw that went out of bounds.
In game two, it looked like more of the same with
Chelan down 11-7 before Hendricks called her first time out. The Scotties were
still digging the ball out well and Saw, if set right, was unstoppable. Chelan
was only able to put three more points on the board to Freeman’s eight points
and Hendricks once again called a time out. This time, the Lady Goats got on
track and allowed the Scotties only four more points to its nine points,
forcing Freeman’s coach to call a time out with the score 22-20 in favor of the
Chelan scored the next three points to take the lead
at 23-22 and won the game 25-22.
In game three, with a win under their belts, Chelan
came out swinging while a demoralized Freeman began to make small mistakes and
not keeping the ball in play. Chelan roared to a convincing 25-18 win to take
into game four.
Game four had Chelan scoring right out of the
serving block and with a 12-9 lead, Hendricks called a time out. Freeman tied
the game at 15-all and then took the lead 16-15 on a tipped ball. After a long
volley, Chelan regained a 17-16 lead and then Makenzie started hitting in the
outside position to take Chelan to 19-16. An upset Freeman coach called another
time out for her set team.
With the score at 22-20 and Freeman edging back into
contention to force game five, Hendricks called a time out. Back on the court,
Johanna Fuller set a perfect ball to Abby Phelps who promptly put it down the
left side of the court for a point. Freeman got the serve back on the next
play, but Chelan dug out their next kill shot and Abby once again put a strong
kill on the floor for Chelan taking the team to game point, 24-21. Phelps put
the game away on the next set from Fuller, 25-21.
The win put Chelan into the Championship match
against nemesis Cascade. Cascade, ranked No. 1 in the state, beat Lakeside for
the privilege of taking on Chelan for the third time this season.
“The pressure is definitely on Cascade,” said Chelan
AD Rob Rainville. “The Goats are peaking and this is a good time to do it.”
The Lady Goats were told by Coach Hendricks to just
go out and play volleyball and have fun. Both Chelan and Cascade were qualified
for the State Tournament. This match was for the No. 1 and 2 seed to the
tournament in Yakima next week.
Cascade came out in Game one with determination to
beat Chelan for the third time and took it to the Lady Goats 25-15. Cascade’s
Eliana Ala’ilima-Daley was absolutely superb at the net, putting kills down,
one after the other.
Game two became a see-saw battle between the two
teams with Cascade leading by one or two points until Chelan tied it at 13-all
and then went ahead 14-13 on an Emma Stockholm kill shot from the right outside
hitting slot. Emma put the next ball down too and then Cascade was blocked to
give Chelan a 16-13 lead.
Coach McMahon, not happy with the way the tide had
turned, called a time out to try and get her team back on track. Her style of
coaching is a lot different than Coach Hendricks. McMahon is intense and likes
to yell and cajole her team to action.
The Kodiaks came back out on court and gained two
points before Chelan took the serve back and Johanna Fuller put a kill shot
down to give Chelan a three point lead going into the later stages of Game two.
The Kodiaks go the serve back but the server served short to give Chelan a
19-16 lead and then Abby Phelps killed the next two balls to put the Goats up
At this point Cascade took another timeout, but to
no avail. Karle Pittsinger kill the ball from the middle and then Makenzie
Harris hit a point from the back row and Phelps gave Chelan its game point kill
24-16 and then put it away with another pretty set by Fuller to give Chelan
game two 25-16.
Game three was more of the same with both teams
battling for dominance. The game was tied at 8-all when Chelan surged to a 14-9
lead with Harris serving up an ace. Cascade fought back to a 15-all tie and
then went ahead. Phelps tied the game at 16 and then 17-all. Harris tied it at
18-all and then Chelan took charge, blocking a kill attempt and scoring the
next four points before the Kodiaks got back on the board to tie this game up
at 22-all. Chelan took it home to win 25-22.
Going into Game 4, both teams were at the top of
their game. Chelan had peaked and Cascade was playing championship ball.
But something snapped for the Kodiaks in Game 4.
Chelan came out in a groove. Abby Phelps was finding holes in Cascade’s back
court and Chelan found itself cruising to a 7-1, then an 11-3, 15-3, 16-3
before Cascade scored another point.
Chelan cruised to the win 26-16 and McMahon never
called a time out once.
“Wow,” stated Hendricks after the match. “We played
like we can play. We were more relaxed than not. We had to battle today. We’ve
been playing since 2 p.m… . it’s phenominal.”
Brian Hendricks said, “How fun was that,” as he
stepped to the floor to congratulate the team and his coach wife.
Abby Phelps said, “It feels great. It was really fun
and I’m very happy.” She said she was pleased that the team didn’t roll over
and die after its first loss to Cascade.
Earlier in the day, Chelan started play against the
Newport Grizzlies, defeating them 25-14, 25-14, 25-22.
Next week, the Lady Goats enter the WIAA State
Volleyball Championships as the No. 1 seed out of District 6/7. They begin play
on Friday, November 15 at 11:30 a.m. against So. Whidbey. They previously faced
So. Whidbey at the So. Whidbey Invitational at the beginning of the season where
they beat them 25-12,
25-18 to end up taking that Invitational’s championship.
Chelan Goats are in line to possibly bring home another state trophy.