Huskies bounce back with sweep of East Valley in home opener
Othello's Kenzie Simpson soars up for the block against East Valley (Spokane) In the Huskies' home-opener win on Thursday night at Othello High School.
Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald
The Othello Huskies elate after taking the third set victory and securing the sweep against East Valley (Spokane) in their home opener on Thursday night at Othello High School.
Othello outside hitter Natalie Martinez soars for the kill in the 3-0 win over East Valley (Spokane) on Thursday night at Othello High School.
Othello's Ashley Garza gets set to serve in the Huskies' match against East Valley (Spokane) on Thursday night at Othello High School.
Othello Huskies head volleyball coach Steve Parris watches the match against East Valley (Spokane) from the sideline on Thursday night at Othello High School.
Othello libero Julissa Cantu hits the ground for the dig during the second set of the Huskies' 3-0 win over East Valley(Spokane) on Thursday night at Othello High School.
Othello's Halle Parris serves up the ball to her outside hitters during the second set of the Huskies' 3-0 win over East Valley (Spokane) on Thursday evening at Othello High School.
Othello's Natalie Martinez puts the ball just over the East Valley (Spokane) defenders during the first set of the Huskies' 3-0 win over the Knights on Thursday night at Othello High School.
Staff Writer | February 19, 2021 5:59 PM
The Othello Huskies volleyball team pulled off a 3-0 sweep of East Valley (Spokane) at home Thursday night, winning their home opener.
The Huskies are now 1-1 for the season. They fell in the season opener Tuesday in Spokane against North Central High School, 3-0.
Othello jumped ahead in the opening set and pulled away midway. East Valley called a time-out with the score 18-12. The Knights surged out of the break, including a 7-0 run to take the lead, 23-20. But the Huskies responded and took the set 28-26.
The Huskies jumped out to another big lead in the second set Thursday and held off the Knights. Othello led by double digits down the stretch and took the set, 25-14.
The third set went back and forth most of the way. Othello called a timeout midway through the set, down three at 13-16. The Huskies pulled ahead of East Valley 21-20 and kept the Knights at bay for a 25-23 win and match victory.
Ashley Garza finished with 12 kills for the Huskies on Thursday night with a big effort on the outside. Halle Parris notched 14 assists in the match, while libero Julissa Cantu finished with 4 aces and 14 digs on the backline.
Huskies head coach Steve Parris said it felt good to nab a win in the home opener after waiting so long to get going this season.
“It’s good for these girls,” Parris said. “We’ve got a fair amount of seniors and we’re not very big, but you saw our scrappiness I hope. They don’t quit. It was great just to see all the hard work they’ve put in over the years pay off tonight.”
After falling in their season opener on Tuesday in Spokane, Parris said the uptick in energy Thursday night made the difference between the matches. He said the shortened preseason left them with about six practices and only one day to do any six-on-six work.
Parris said the defense and serve/receive, as far as who’s going after what on the floor, were both weak in the opening loss. He said they sorted some of those things out in practice Wednesday but added they’ve still got a way to go.
Outside hitters were big for the Huskies in the win on Thursday, Parris said.
“Natalie Martinez and Ashley Garza both had a great match out there, so that was fun to watch them swing out there,” Parris said.
Senior libero Julissa Cantu has covered the back line for the Huskies the past three seasons and Parris said she did an excellent job of commanding that line on Thursday. He said the Huskies were really able to clean up their passing and get the middles more involved on Thursday night after struggling to do so against North Central.
Parris said the outside hitters on Tuesday were covered with two blockers every time they went up because the middle of the court struggled to get things going.
With such a short time to prepare coming into the season, Parris said a lot of these first few weeks will involve working out some kinks that might typically get sorted out in the preseason.
Parris said this team is a fun group to coach and he wants to help the players remember why they love the game.
The Huskies will hit the court again Thursday when they head to Spokane for a match with Rogers High School at 7 p.m.