MOSES LAKE — Krista Hutsell’s all black uniform signifying her libero status might as well have looked like the grim reaper to Sunnyside.
Hutsell, playing in her final home game, totaled seven aces to lead Moses Lake past Sunnyside 25-8, 25-18, 25-18.
The serve was an integral part of Moses Lake’s game plan as Hutsell’s team-high seven aces was complemented by four from Yasmin Shateri and three each from Gabi Rios and Ashlyn Haneberg — 17 total.
“Tonight we were really focused on getting our serves in and focusing on where to place them instead of just getting them in,” Hutsell said. “So, it really helped our serves being able to place them and as a team knowing that we’re focused on getting them in, not missing them, so I think that positive mentality it helped us get our serves in by allowing us to play as a team and play together and keep that energy up so we weren’t afraid to make a mistake.”
Moses Lake had few mistakes in the first set.
Hutsell’s service helped the Chiefs to a 5-1 start and three aces in a row from Shateri pushed the lead to 11-3.
Moses Lake led by as much as 18 points before going on to win 25-8.
Sunnyside opened up a 7-4 lead in the second set before a kill and an ace from Hutsell put the Chiefs ahead for good 9-8. A pair of kills from Shateri created some breathing room, igniting a run that put Moses Lake ahead 16-10. Shateri finished with a match-high nine kills.
Sophomore Gabi Rios scored the penultimate point of the second set on a kill and ended things with one of her three aces. Rios complemented Shateri’s attack with five kills and three aces.
“When we get Gabi playing hard then everybody rallies around her so it’s kind of a key to get her and Yasmin playing on at the same time,” head coach Jennifer Gering said.
Moses Lake kept Sunnyside at arm’s length throughout the third set before pulling away late. A tipped ball from Shateri gave the Chiefs a 16-9 lead.
Rios ended the third set, and match, with an ace.
Moses Lake will travel to Eisenhower for a Columbia Basin Big Nine play-in game, 6 p.m., Nov. 1.
“It’s a really good ending,” Hutsell said. “We kind of peaked right at the right time for our next game being the play-in.”
ML — 25 25 25
SS — 8 18 18
Highlights: Shateri 9 kills, 4 aces, 2 blocks; Rios 5 kills, 3 aces; Hutsell 7 aces, 2 kills; Chloe Jones 3 kills