Neah Bay’s Angel Halttunen digs the ball against Mossyrock in the state semifinals Thursday in Yakima. (Roger Harnack/Cheney Free Press)

Neah Bay’s Angel Halttunen digs the ball against Mossyrock in the state semifinals Thursday in Yakima. (Roger Harnack/Cheney Free Press)

STATE 1B VOLLEYBALL: Neah Bay falls in title game, finishes second in state

Champion Oakesdale has won seven out of the last eight championships

YAKIMA — Neah Bay’s run for a state championship came to an end in the 1B tournament finals, as the Red Devils fell to a powerful Oakesdale team 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-15).

It was Oakesdale’s third straight 1B championship, seventh championship in the past eight years and 13th championship all-time in volleyball. Oakesdale finished the season 24-0 while Neah Bay finished 22-1.

“We were very happy with how we play,” said coach Rebekah Monette.

Neah Bay libero Pauline Gagnon digs the ball in the state semifinals Thursday against Mossyrock. (Roger Harnack/Cheney Free Press)

Neah Bay libero Pauline Gagnon digs the ball in the state semifinals Thursday against Mossyrock. (Roger Harnack/Cheney Free Press)

Monette said Oakesdale had one hitter, Payton Davis, the Red Devils struggled to control.

“They had one hitter that her tempo was just hard to catch up to,” she said. “They’re temp was a little faster than what we’re used to seeing.” She said Davis is also a big star in club volleyball as Oakesdale is about 45 miles from Spokane.

The Red Devils stayed close through all three sets of the championship match as they were down just 13-11 in the first set, were tied 20-20 in the second set and were down 20-14 in the third. In all three sets, the Nighthawks were effective at pulling away late and closing out sets.

Remarkably, it was the third state championship game Neah Bay had played in during the past year and the fourth in the past 18 months. The Red Devils won the girls state basketball championship in March, with many of the same players on the volleyball team. They also played in the state basketball championship game in March 2022. Neah Bay’s football team also played in the state championship game last November, finishing second in the state.

Neah Bay had lost just six sets all year heading into the championship match. The Red Devils girls, especially some of the seniors who play sports year-round, will now prepare to defend their state 1B basketball championship as hoops season begins in December.

“A lot of them all already in the gym” getting ready for basketball, Monette said.

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