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YAKIMA — Castle Rock’s volleyball team had some gleeful feelings Friday, even after a 25-19, 25-19, 25-23 loss to Lynden Christian in the Class 1A State quarterfinals here at the Yakima Valley SunDome.

“I’m very happy with that performance,” coach Jeana Bayes said. “There’s some little things we can do better — hitting, serving, little things. But when they have six really strong hitters and can pick and choose who they have, they fought like heck and I appreciate their effort.”

The Lyncs have finished third or better in Class 1A, including two state titles, in the past five years.

Castle Rock had the luxury of facing the 1A power after topping Kiona Benton 25-16, 25-16, 25-23 in the first round.

In the opener, Rachel Anderson had 12 digs, Logann Golden finished with eight kills and 12 digs, while Zoe Naugle had 22 kills — a personal best for Naugle in a three-set match — and nine blocks. Ranae Holter added 35 assists.

“When you come to the SunDome, you have to come out on fire,” Bayes said. “I don’t think that was by any means our best match but definitely being able to serve, serve-receive was our big goal.”

In the loss, Naugle tallied 10 blocks with five kills, Golden had 14 kills and 26 digs, while Anderson tallied 16 digs.

The Lyncs forced Castle Rock into very uncomfortable territory, triple-blocking Naugle at the net — as if some of the hardest hitters in Class 1A weren’t enough to cope with. Switching pace to soft taps and well-placed hits gave the Rockets a headache they couldn’t get rid of.

Castle Rock jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the third set, and built on it with only a few points left before moving into a fourth set. Then, Lynden Christian advanced on a 8-2 run and stymied any hope the Rockets had for a state title.

“I don’t think they’re down on themselves,” Bayes said. “I really feel like we played well.”

The Rockets play Overlake at 11 a.m. Saturday, a win ensuring a fifth- or sixth-place trophy.

“I couldn’t be more happy with the way that we fought tonight,” Bayes said. “We never let up. We tried, and pushed all the way to the end. That’s all I can ask from my team.”

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Sports Reporter

Jason is a journeyman sports reporter who has covered the Golden State Warriors, Oakland A's, along with a heavy emphasis on the Oakland Raiders. He comes to Cowlitz County from Oakland, Calif. and is a loving father.

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