The Bulldogs spread out their offense after making adjustments in a loss to Klahowya last week
BELFAIR — Coming off a five-set loss to the Klahowya Eagles last Friday, the North Mason Bulldogs knew they needed to make adjustments on the court.
The changes worked Tuesday as the Bulldogs beat the Olympic Trojans in an Olympic League 2A volleyball match 3-0. Game scores were 25-22, 25-21 and 25-14.
“Our key word is family,” North Mason coach Kanoe Lilly said, adding she wants the team to be able to depend on each other and not just two or three select players. “I wanted them to be able to trust each other and not take the game into their own hands to make the win happen.”
Lilly said when the match got tough, like it did in the second set, the Bulldogs were able to move the ball around instead of one key hitter.
“We were unpredictable and a little more versatile,” she said.
North Mason took the lead in the first set and held leads of six-to seven-points. But the Trojans would counter, making small runs thanks to key hits and unforced errors by NM to close within 22-19 and again at 23-20. Two service points, including an ace by Oly’s Molly Gates, made it 23-21 before NM got it to set point an a serve into the net by the Trojans. A tip at the net by Olympic’s Alani Pajimula staved off the point, 24-22, but a cross-court kill by North Mason’s Natalie Mathews ended the suspense moments later.
The match intensity continued in the second set as both teams battled point for point. Ties were abundant throughout until the Trojans took the lead for the first time in the match, 18-17. They held it until Mathews’ kill gave the lead back to North Mason, 20-19, on an ace Shelby Stephens. NM held a one- to two-point advantage the rest of the way until the game tied once again, 22-22, on a hit out of bounds by the Bulldogs. NM won the next two points to go to set point, 24-22 and finished it on a kill by Hannah Fredrickson from an assist by Rebekah Fredrickson.
The third set began much like the second with both teams fighting for points and neither team getting more than a small lead until NM went on a mini 8-2 run to go up 19-12 and forcing Peden to call a time out. The Bulldogs continued their hot streak, outdistancing Oly and building a 23-14 lead. A kill boy Morgan Shumaker, off an assist from Stephens, made it match point and a kill by Hannah Fredrickson gave NM the win. Stephens finished with 11 assists, nine digs and two aces while Hannah Fredrickson had 13 kills, 14 digs and three aces. Shumaker finished with five kills and Rebekah Fredrickson contributed with 12 digs from the libero position and three assists while Kody Wynn had three aces, five assists and six digs.
A lack of consistency, whether it was in passing, hitting or on defense, was the biggest issue for the Trojans, said Oly coach Keith Peden.
“We didn’t see consistent anything so,” he said, “we saw some middles that worked, saw some lefts that worked, saw some digs that worked. We just didn’t see anything consistently that we could make work.
“Our top players didn’t have their best night tonight, but we’ll be all right,” Peden continued. “We’ll be right in there, work some things out.”
Senior outside hitter Faith Harer had seven kills, Alani Pajimula added five kills and Molly Gates finished with 11 digs for Olympic.