SALEM?— The Blue Mountain Community College volleyball team picked up its first wins of the season on Friday in pool play at the Chemeketa CC Tournament in Salem.

In best two-of-three games format, the Timberwolves defeated Yakima CC (25-18, 25-21), Clackamas CC (25-16, 25-23)?and Linn-Benton CC (25-21, 23-25, 16-14).

Blue Mountain?coach Dave Baty said he was nervous to send his freshman-heavy squad out on the court against a deep Linn-Benton team.

“They’ve got some kids that can just bang the ball hard,”?he said. “It wasn’t the funnest of things that I?had to send my kids out to play them.”

Furthermore, the T-Wolves (3-1) were taking on Linn-Benton without Kassi Howarth, a 5-foot-11 freshman that had led them in kills (11) the first two matches but hurt her elbow in warm-ups. Rather than test the elbow, Baty opted to play it safe.

The T-Wolves stepped up to win the first game behind the hitting of Howarth’s replacement — 5-8 freshman Kalie Wright — before youthful mistakes led to a Linn-Benton win in Game 2.

Game 3 went down to the wire and wins at the net by Page Woodward and Wright closed out the victory to give the T-Wolves the top seed from their pool going into today’s single-elimination bracket play.

Wright finished with seven kills, 6-5 sophomore Becky Kershner had 13 kills and seven blocks on the day, 5-9 freshman Tori Softich had nine kills and 5-8 freshman Larie Heindel had 10 kills and two aces.

“The kids did a good job, they came out and battled hard,” Baty said. “We really are trying to find ourselves right now with so many freshmen (11)?on the team.”

The T-Wolves will play host Chemeketa at noon in the semifinals. Fellow NWAACC-East teams Walla Walla and Yakima will meet on the other side of the bracket.

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