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YAKIMA — After outlasting Northwest Christian (Colbert) in five sets here early Thursday morning, Kalama fell flat against Mossyrock.

The Chinooks’ hopes of a second state title in three years fell in a 25-22, 25-22, 25-21 defeat to the Vikings at the Yakima Valley SunDome.

“I don’t know, but what just happened was not Kalama volleyball,” coach Jeni O’Neil said. “The goal is always coming home with hardware. So we have to push through and shift our focus a little bit.”

Kalama faces Kittitas early Friday morning for admittance to a hardware match. The emphasis will likely be on shoring up errors. The Chinooks amassed 43 errors, which had O’Neil frustrated and at a loss for words.

The team heads into Friday knowing that one of the worst games of the season was still decided by only a few points.

Leading the effort were some of the usual suspects. Marlee Vickers tallied 26 digs and seven kills, setter Amanda Killinen had 20 assists, and Taylor Tabor notched 14 digs.

The group had to rally to even be a part of Thursday’s state quarterfinal, coming back from 2-0 down against NWC to win 19-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-20, 15-6.

A win against Kittitas Friday morning would pit Kalama against Toutle Lake or Brewster at 11:45 a.m for fifth or sixth place.

Toutle Lake falls to TCP: The Ducks’ championship ambitions hit the skids Thursday night. The Ducks lost to Tri-Cities Prep 23-25, 25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 15-11.

Nikarra Smith tallied 21 kills with three aces and 13 digs to lead the team.

“We had some really key serves at times,” coach Don Merzoian said. “We served some really great short serves that dropped down on them.”

Setter Taylor Gould finished with six kills, two aces, 10 digs and 13 assists, Libero Casey Wentz added 10 digs, while Jordyn Grabenhorst chipped in five kills and 11 digs. Sienna Rudd had nine assists with four digs.

Toutle Lake opened the day with a 25-17, 25-9, 27-25 win over Asotin.

The Ducks are in the mix for fifth or sixth place, but need to win a match against Brewster at 8 a.m. Friday morning to have a shot at hardware.

“It’s a bum deal,” Merzoian said. “We just have to go play from here on out. Hopefully they can go play like they’re capable of tomorrow.”

Naselle stays in mix: The Comets are dueling for hardware following their 25-10, 19-25, 25-14, 25-22 victory over Concordia Christian on Thursday evening.

Naselle lost the opening round against Selkirk 25-12, 27-25, 25-22, and faces Neah Bay at 8 a.m. on Friday for a chance to place.

The team’s motivation is a bit deeper than wanting to push on, as the roster includes seven seniors.

“For them, that’s their motivation,” coach Rebekah Wirkkala said. “This is it for them. And they’ve worked so hard. All the other teams have to be here, but they don’t play club ball, so they come to open gym, they come to everything else. They’re three-sport athletes, and not to get emotional, but they really deserve it.”

Senior hitter Holly Disch finished with 27 kills and 11 digs, while setter Taylor Gudmundsen tallied 44 assists and 12 digs in the match against Concordia.

If the Comets can dispatch Neah Bay, they’ll play for a seventh-place trophy at 1:30 p.m. on Friday.

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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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