Woodland’s Taylor Foster knew she was getting close to a pair of school records late last season. She was reminded at tryouts this year how close she was, but let it slip her mind once the season rolled around.
On Tuesday, she recorded her 591st career kill and 187th stuff block, just enough to break both school records in a 3-1 win over La Center.
She doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon, either. The senior added 12 kills and four aces in a 25-12, 25-14, 25-12 win over rival Kalama on Thursday at Virgil Simmons Gymnasium.
“It feels awesome; I can’t believe I have it,” Foster said of her records. “I had totally forgot, but my coach made me a big sign, and it was like ‘Wow. I did it.’ ”
Despite battling a nasty cough Thursday, Foster proved early and often she wouldn’t be stopped. With a season left to go in her Woodland career, she’s not done tearing up opponents.
“Taylor is like ‘Yeah, I have it, but I don’t want anybody to break it,’” second-year coach Danielle Hutton said. “She has that drive to keep building her record.”
Helping her out is perhaps one of the most dynamic teams in the state this season. Led by senior libero Elyse Booker, the school’s digs record holder, the Beavers are hard to stop.
That showed Thursday as the Beavers made quick work of Kalama. Booker had nine digs, Emma Swett added six kills, four aces and eight assists and Nicole Guthrie had 11 assists.
“Everything just really came together,” Hutton said. “We struggled a bit on Tuesday with our serving. So we talked a lot in practice about having consistent, aggressive serves, and they executed that well. Our offense executed well. Our defense was picking up everything. It all just came together and looked smooth out there.”
Of course, Kalama did itself no favors. Playing perhaps one of the sloppiest matches 11th-year coach Jeni O’Neil has seen, the Chinooks dug early holes in sets and never recovered. They tallied 14 kills as a team, led by Marlee Vickers’ four. Setter Amanda Killinen had 13 assists and eight digs.
The team also committed 20 hitting errors.
“I think it was mental,” O’Neil said. “That was not Kalama volleyball. That was the biggest struggle I think I’ve ever witnessed a Kalama volleyball team have. I’m trying to figure it out, because we came off a big win on Tuesday and know what we’re capable of.”
Kalama will try to re-orient itself in a trip to La Center on Monday, while Woodland hosts Ridgefield in a Greater St. Helens 2A League opener Tuesday.