PENDLETON — The Timberwolves could not have asked for a better way to end what they would otherwise describe as a “rough” volleyball season.
Blue Mountain (9-22, 4-12 NWAC) ended Northwest Athletic Conference play on Wednesday night with a three-set sweep of the visiting Wenatchee Valley Knights, 25-20, 25-10, and 25-13. The season-ending victory capped off sophomore night, which honored Keeley Morrison, Mariah Moulton, Emily Beebe, and Abigail Ives in their last appearance on the court as Timberwolves.
“With how rough our season went, we all came together and ended it well,” said Morrison, a middle blocker from Medical Lake, Washington. “All of our hearts and heads were together in it. We all knew we needed to come in and get the win for us sophomores, and to leave a lasting legacy on the freshmen to carry on into next year.”
The first set saw the score tie four times before the Timberwolves broke away with a four-point rally and a 10-6 lead. The Knights could only come within three points of tying again before freshman middle blocker Kiara Brandvold spiked a kill that brought them within two.
But the Timberwolves remained out front, and freshman right side hitter Amanda Kvamme posted a kill that broadened their advantage to five points at 24-19, and another to take the set.
“The last time we played (Wenatchee Valley), we struggled with our serve receives,” Blue Mountain head coach Ceanna Larson said. “Tonight, we focused on that, and keeping the ball in play. Overall, the girls did really well.”
Morrison forced an error on the Knights to open the second set and sparked a nine-point streak before Wenatchee Valley got on the board. The Timberwolves would go on to take four 10-point leads, and Kvamme notched another kill that helped them to an 11-point, 16-5 advantage. Moulton would do the same at 19-8.
The Knights watched the set slip away from them as they put up four straight errors to give Blue Mountain a 24-9 lead, and while sophomore right side hitter Kourtney Collins got the Knights’ final point of the set, Kvamme got the point that won the set once more.
The Knights opened the final contest with a brief 1-0 advantage, but the Timberwolves were quick to respond with a five-point rally, including two kills from Moulton.
Wenatchee Valley would knot the score three times, but the Timberwolves embarked on one final four-point streak to stay alive. Moulton got the match point at 25-13 to knock down the win and end her team’s season on a high note.
“We went out with our best game,” Larson said. “That’s all you can ask for as a coach. Our sophomores brought such hard work and dedication all year. I got really lucky with this group.”
The home court victory followed Blue Mountain’s five-set loss to the East Region’s bottom-ranked Knights (2-28, 1-15 NWAC) in mid-October.
“They play very good, scrappy ball,” Morrison said of the Knights. “That was something we didn’t expect to see from them tonight. It felt great to get the win against them.”
Moulton led the Timberwolves with 11 kills, and also added nine digs. Morrison had eight kills, and Maisie Hancock had a match-high 16 digs. Beebe posted four kills and 13 digs.
Blue Mountain ended their season ranked at No. 7 of 9 in the NWAC’s East Region standings.