STATE VOLLEYBALL: Neah Bay in championship match

No. 2 Red Devils will face No. 1 Oakesdale for title

Neah Bay Red Devils.

Neah Bay Red Devils.

YAKIMA — For the third time this year, a Neah Bay team is playing for the 1B state championship.

The undefeated Neah Bay volleyball team has played its way into the championship match. The match against undefeated Oakesdale will be played Thursday night after press deadline. Look online at www.peninsuladailynews.com for results of the finals.

“This is an extremely talented group of kids,” said coach Rebekah Monette. “They play great offense. We have a solid six on the court. Every kid can do their jobs.”

“Our strength is not just our physicality. These girls are very smart and emotionally mature,” Monette said.

Monette said Oakesdale is a solid team, as well.

“They’re definitely a strong team. They’re the defending state champion. They have been here numerous times. They have a very strong hitter and three strong seniors,” she said.

Neah Bay made it into the finals by beating Waterville-Mansfield in the quarterfinals 3-0 (25-21, 25-11, 25-18), then coming from behind several times to fend off Mossyrock in the semifinals 3-1 (25-13, 9-25, 25-20, 25-14).

Though it was a 3-1 win, the Red Devils were in trouble a couple of times. After losing the second set badly, they were behind 20-18 with the prospect of going down two games to one.

But the Red Devils rattled off seven straight points with an Angel Halttunen tip for a point, an Ezrah Ray block for another, an ace by Cerise Moss and finally a kill by Ray to finish off the set 25-20.

In the fourth set, Neah Bay was again behind 13-9 but scored 16 of the next 17 points to win going away. The match ended fittingly with a Ray kill.

Many of these same girls were also members of Neah Bay’s basketball team that won the state championship in March. The Neah Bay and Mossyrock girls know each other well, as the Red Devils beat Mossyrock 56-54 in the state basketball championship.

Oakesdale (23-0) and Neah Bay (22-0) also know each other well as they played in the state basketball quarterfinals in March. In volleyball, Oakesdale is ranked No 1 in the state and Neah Bay No. 2.

Oakesdale actually had to come from behind to win its semifinal 3-2 (20-25, 25-18, 14-25, 25-10, 15-9) over Almira-Coulee-Hartline.

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