In a game that ended in happy tears, the Kelso Lassies overtook Mt. View Thursday night 25-19, 25-9, 25-12 for the 3A Greater St. Helens League district championship. The match started as a close point-for-point battle, but in the end the Lassies powered through and took home the trophy.
“I’m happy, but not satisfied because we have some big games coming up. It felt like the girls finally settled down after the first game and then took over and played at our pace,” said coach Michelle Mury.
This win comes right after the Lassies were crowned first in the state for academic achievement.
“We just have some great girls. There are quite a few with 4.0’s. They have to get it done in the class room and then get it done on the court,” Mury said.
Kelso dominated on the court during the second period, leading by miles. The Lassies were consistently in front by 10-12 points. Ashley Noah served 11 times in a row and made three aces.
Ava Nichols and Bella Hadaller consistently made strikes, kills, and game-defining blocks.
Nichols came out with nine kills and six blocks.
“She was critical in the change of momentum,” Mury said.
“I thought we did really good. We played really good together. Everything flowed,” Noah said.
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Playing together like a well-oiled machine is how Kelso came out on top. While the Thunder seemed to lose focus and struggled to maintain their force, the Lassies worked together like seasoned pros.
“The chemistry on this team is special. That’s why we’re so special. Everyone picks up the slack for everyone else. They love each other. They encourage each other. They’re all just in it to win it,” Mury said.
Both teams made some rookie mistakes, such as serving it straight to the net or out of bounds. However Kelso routinely bounced back and knew where to put the ball so Mt. View couldn’t reach it.
“I’m going to miss my seniors but this is a really good season and I’m just really proud of every one on the court,” Noah said.
Mury said she made it a priority to play all three of her seniors as it was senior night. Everyone deserved a turn, she said.
“Every girl elevated it. They were willing to practice and learn new things and put those things in the game,” Mury said.
The third and final period started and Mt. View tried to regroup. But Kelso was flying high and ready for the win. The Thunder attempted to keep up but point after point went in the Lassie’s favor.
Allie Gaston made the game winning spike and Kelso won the district championship. Their season is far from over, as they start playoffs next week. The Lassies take on Prairie Tuesday, but the rest is just the cherry on top, Noah said.
“It’s been such a fun season,” Mury said. “I know to other people it feels like such a long season but to our girls it feels short because it’s been so positive.”