WRHS VOLLEYBALL: Hornets near perfect season mark

With one game remaining in its regular season, the White River volleyball squad went looking Monday for an undefeated 12-0 record in league action.

The only other time a perfect record has been achieved was when the Hornets were a 3A contingent in 2004, a year in which White River went 14-0 in the regular season. Last week it appeared as though White River might have been peaking at precisely the right juncture in its season. The Hornets traveled to Eatonville’s gym Oct. 17 and blanked the Cruisers in straight sets 25-6, 25-9, 25-16.

Coach Stryder Argo explained that this was the first time all season that he felt that his bunch played consistently throughout the entire match and he actually had a chance to experiment with some different looks and strategies, as well as get a good look at how strong his bench depth is.

“It was great to see our starters be so excited for the backup players. We tried some different tactics offensively and they didn’t miss a beat,” he said.

Oct. 19, the Hornets visited Franklin Pierce and eventually plucked the Cardinals’ tail feathers 25-15, 21-25, 25-9 and 25-12.Against Eatonville, it seemed that the Hornets could do no wrong. Hornet star Dannie Stroud quickly compiled a dozen kills and senior setter Erinne Clements had 21 assists, which allowed Argo to confidently give the majority of the WRHS starters the rest of the night off.

Against Franklin Pierce, the Hornets appeared to settle back into a rhythm, finding their groove by easily winning the last pair of sets 25-9, 25-12 and claiming their eleventh league match in a row.

“I mixed things up a little bit trying a new rotation in the third and fourth sets and after that point we never looked back,” Argo said.

Jailyn VanSickle stepped up her game against the Cards, notching 13 kills, three aces and 14 digs. Cassidy Kunst joined in on the fun as well, contributing a season-high 34 assists.

Haley Vallala is still recovering from a knee injury and probably will not return until the postseason, but several other players on a red-hot Hornet contingent more than made up for Vallala’s involuntary absence.

Alisha Bidwell and Jade Crawford notched 10 kills apiece and Stroud rung up 13 kills, two blocks, two aces while accruing eight digs as well.

After claiming the league title in rather convincing fashion, White River will now move on to the playoffs and the sudistrict tournament being contested at Frankin Pierce’s facility for the top three squads from each competing league, commencing at around noon Saturday against either North Kitsap or Port Angeles.