Bouncing back from a semifinal loss to rival St. Francis Borgia Regional, the Washington volleyball Lady Jays still had a goal at the Hermann Tournament Thursday.
And Washington reached that goal with a 25-23, 25-20 win over Pacific in the third-place match.
Washington, the four-time defending event champion had its title run ended in the semifinals in a three-game loss. However, the Lady Jays (15-11-3) were able to bounce back.
“It was disappointing, probably more for Kassidy (Phillips) since she’s started since she was a freshman,” Washington Head Coach Susan Harms said. “I know she wanted to win and play for the championship again. The girls have been playing like this all season. They have a lot of heart. They work hard. They came up here to bring home a trophy. This is the one they wanted to get, so they went out and played hard and won it.”
Pacific (8-7-3) also had something to play for after being swept by Hermann in the semifinals.
“Against Washington, I was really happy with the way with how we overcame the slump we were in,” Pacific Head Coach Kersten McDonough said. “I wish the first set would have gone our way and then who knows where it would have gone from there. I was happy with the performance.”
Harms credited the Lady Indians for the way they played the match.
“Pacific had a good little team,” Harms said. “They probably outplayed us defensively for a while. They didn’t let anything fall down.”
Harms indicated her team needed to execute better.
“We just needed to get the pass up so we could get somebody on it and get a good kill,” Harms said. “Kassidy finally came to the net and put a couple of good ones down. I thought Emma Duncan played a good game at the net. Sophie (Howell) came in and had some good hits. Abby (Redd) blocked well at the net. Our defense played well. I thought it was a pretty all-around good win for our team.”
McDonough said her team changed its system on the night and Alexis Haley stepped up to the challenge.
“Usually, my sophomore setter Alexis Haley sets in a 6-2,” said McDonough. “She took over and ran a 5-1. I thought she handled the pressure pretty well. She served and she never serves in games. I thought her serving game was pretty good. I thought overall, everybody stepped up to the plate.”
Grace Smiley and Jackie Tarabelli each had six kills for Pacific. Piper Linder was next with three, Kate Taylor added two and Annie Tomlinson ended with one.
Haley dished out 11 assists. Genna Nickelson added one.
Nickelson had 18 digs to lead the defense.
Taylor had three blocks, Smiley and Linder each added two and Haley posted one.
Smiley served two aces and Linder added one.
Washington’s statistics were not available at the print deadline.
Harms said it was a good way to end the tournament.
“Overall, I thought we did really well,” Harms said. “Hermann has a good team. I thought our girls could have played a little better against Hermann in pool play. We’ll see them again Monday. This is one of our favorite tournaments to come to. We enjoy it. It’s fun to play the local competition.”