Walla Walla Community College got a step closer to earning a trip to the NWAC Volleyball Championships Wednesday night in NWAC East Region action.
The Warriors came out ready to go and knocked off third-place Treasure Valley, 3-1.
The win improves the Warriors to 8-6 in the NWAC East and keeps the Warriors’ hold on the fourth and last berth to the championship.
Big Bend dropped a 3-2 decision to Columbia Basin on Wednesday and dropped to 7-8, two games behind the Warriors for the fourth playoff spot with two regular-season matches left.
The Warriors’ intensity carried them to an opening-set, 25-16, win, but the Chukars regrouped to even the match with a 25-21 win in the second set.
The Warriors were not to be denied, as they posted 25-18 and 25-20 wins to complete the 3-1 win.
“That was the most complete game we have played all season,” Warrior coach Chelsie Speer said. “They (Treasure Valley) are a top-eight team. I am very pleased with how we played. We need these last few games to get in the tourney. Thus, it is important for us to play well.”
Hits from Addison Hansen, Tylar Jones and Hansen again propelled the Warriors from a 3-3 tie to a 6-3 lead in the first set.
A Mollie Doyle kill produced a 12-5 lead, and the Chukars couldn’t find a run against the Warrior defense.
The Warriors maintained for a 25-21 win.
Behind the serving of Doyle, the Warriors tied set two at 12-12, but an unforced hitting error gave the Chukars a sideout at 13-12.
The Chukars stretched the lead to 24-19 before a Sadie Babka kill ended a mini-Warrior run and produced a 25-21 Chukar victory.
A Kassie Collins blast opened a 21-9 Warrior lead in the third set.
The Warriors fought off a TVCC 8-3 run and took a 2-1 set lead as a Chukar hit went out of bounds to finish a 25-21 Warrior win.
With Hayley Bretz serving at 5-all in the third set, a Collins kill, a Bretz serving ace and a Leigha Peebles hit produced a 9-5 Warrior lead.
The Warriors had the lead for good.
A Collins kill finished the 25-20 win and clinched the 3-1 Warrior victory.
The Chukars could not crack the Warrior defense all night. A spirited Warrior defense seemed to get every Chukar blast up.
Libero Tia Takasaki led the Warrior defense with 36 digs.
“We knew we that we had to come in, play hard, and get every ball up,” Takasaki said. “We’ve been working hard on our defense in practice and wanted to come out and play how we knew we could play. We came in with fire and a want to beat them (attitude).”
Jessica Whiteley, a 6-foot-1 Chukar middle blocker, led the Treasure Valley with 11 kills, but Takasaki and her defense shut the rest of the Chukar offense down.
“I try to be the quarterback back there (from her backline spot),” Takasaki continued. “I’m calling out everything and making sure we are communicating all the time.”
Jones led the Warrior hitters with 16 kills, and Collins chipped in 12.
The Warriors can clinch a tournament spot with a win at Big Bend on Friday.
“I am very pleased with the win,” Speer summarized. “We can’t be content. We have to reset tomorrow. We have to sustain this level (of play) and get better each day.”
Ken Morgan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.