Ephrata goes straight down the middle to beat Othello 3-0

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Rodney Harwood/Columbia Basin HeraldEphrata outside hitter Laura Davis (8) hits past the block of Othello middle blocker Taylor Taff during the first set of Tuesday night's CWAC match in The Jungle.

EPHRATA — The Tigers’ student section was in rare form and the Ephrata volleyball team kicked up its heels with a 3-0 victory over Othello Tuesday night in The Jungle.

The Central Washington Athletic Conference is going to come down to which team takes it to the next level to bust out of the pack and the Tigers (5-2, 1-1 CWAC) kept pace with Ellensburg (6-1, 2-0) with a 25-7, 25-20, 25-20 victory over the Huskies (4-3, 0-2), who started the season 4-1.

“Right now we’re in the middle of the (CWAC) pack, which is a dangerous place to be, because you never know what everybody else is going to do,” Ephrata coach Britney MacLeod said. “We took care of business tonight, but I wish it was at a more controlled level. We made too many errors.”

The numbers were fairly one-sided even though the Huskies made a late charge with a chance to extend the match to a fourth set.

Laura Davis had a match-high 11 kills to lead the Tigers. The 5-foot-9 senior found a rhythm early. Hayden Mills had six kills and Madelen Owens and Mya Buchert had five apiece. Ephrata setter Denali Sheneman finished with 27 assists and Shayla Whalen had eight digs.

“Me and the middles have a communication. On a good ball, I run a three and she runs a one, and we kind of trick the other side as to who’s actually going to make the hit,” Davis said. “We just try and get it to whoever’s hot and tonight we showed a lot of power right up the middle.”

The Tigers run a 5-1 scheme, and even though they were met with a solid block on the Othello side, they found a groove with the off-speed stuff as well as banging away.

“We’ve been working on our transition so our hitters can be more active,” MacLeod said. “We wanted to run a quicker offense and it freed up our middle tonight.”

The Huskies had a chance to extend the match in the third set when they closed to 19-18, but that was as close as they would get, playing in a tough gym to win in when the momentum swings to the home team.

Kamryn Shannon and Owens combined for the stuff block to make it 24-20 and Sheneman blasted the final kill of the night to end the match.

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