Yakima Valley smothers Big Bend’s effort in 3-0 NWAC East victory

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Rodney Harwood/Columbia Basin HeraldBig Bend's Hailey Miller (1) and JoAndra Wilson smother a shot on the double block during Saturday's NWAC East match with Yakima Valley at DeVries Activity Center.

MOSES LAKE — They swing. They dive. The scramble. They fly around, but at the end of the day, 6-foot-1 still has the advantage over 5-4.

It’s not for lack of effort. The Big Bend volleyball team (0-20, 0-10 NWAC) throws itself into each and every match, but they just couldn’t see the forest through the trees in Saturday’s NWAC East 3-0 loss to Yakima Valley College (19-17, 4-5 NWAC East). The Yaks go 6-1, 5-10 and 5-11 across the front row and they smothered everything the Vikings could muster with a 25-20, 25-17, 25-11 decision Saturday afternoon at DeVries Activity Center.

“It’s really hard going against their size, but you just keep pushin’ and pushin’ and pushin’,” 5-3 libero Laurissa Kisler of Warden said. “We’re trying our hardest. We lost our energy in the third game. There’s been highs and lows this year, but we’re trying to get better and learn from every match.”

JoAndra Wilson, a 5-11 freshman from Lapwai, Idaho, finished with a team-high 10 kills for the Vikings. Madison Powers, one of just four sophomores, added five kills. Ana Zuniga-Nararro, a 5-3 defensive specialist from Ephrata, had 11 digs and Kisler added 10 for the Vikings, who lost for the 20th time this season.

The Vikings took a 17-16 advantage in the first set on a Wilson kill. But Big Bend, which averages just 4.02 kills per set, saw that lead slowly slip away as the Yaks gained a 24-20 advantage and closed it out.

Yak sophomore Alysse Roosma, a 6-1 middle from Othello, went into the match with 107 kills in 19 matches, added nine more to the count. Teammate Kerista Goodpaster, is the top-ranked hitter in the NWAC with 374 kills, averaging 3.53 per set, finished with 10 on the afternoon.

“We had a size advantage tonight and we tried to take advantage,” said Roosma, who went up into the stands to meet with friends and family after the match. “I like playing here because it’s fairly close to my hometown and I can see family. I’m improving on my blocking and getting better on the attack.

“It’s a lot faster pace playing at this level, so there’s been some adjustments. We do things differently than we did in high school, but mainly it’s just faster and you have to make your adjustments in a hurry.”

The Vikings held their own early in the second set, extending a 7-6 lead to 9-7. But a Roosma block at 9-9 helped trigger a five-point run on Brenna Blacks service. Wilson, the Vikings left-handed power hitter on the outside, put down a big kill to close the gap to 16-11, but the Yaks ran it out, taking the Big Bend energy with it.

Ryana Recustodio, a 5-6 outside hitter from Kodiak, Alaska, teed off on a ball to give the Viks the opening point in the third set, but it was evident Big Bend had nothing left in the tank and Yakima Valley closed out the match with a flurry.

Big Bend hosts NWAC East-leading North Idaho College on Wednesday, then travels to Ontario, Ore., on Saturday to face Treasure Valley.

Set scores: 25-20, 25-17, 25-11

Highlights: JoAndra Wilson, 10 kills; Madison Powers, 5 kills; Ana Zuniga-Nararro 11 digs;

Wenatchee Valley 3, Big Bend 0

WENATCHEE — Madison Powers and Natalie Yergensen totaled six kills each in a three-set loss to Wenatchee Valley 25-18, 25-15, 25-20.

Hailey Miller added five kills and a team-high 11 kills.

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