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Ephrata falls to Anacortes, Mark Morris, ending chance for state title

by Rebecca Pettingill
Staff Writer | November 22, 2021 1:00 AM

YAKIMA — The Ephrata High School Lady Tigers lost two matches Friday in the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) State Championships 2A volleyball tournament at the Yakima Valley SunDome, ending their state run without placing.

Friday morning Ephrata took on Anacortes High School and lost all three sets in close runs 25-18, 25-21 and 25-23.

“We had poor execution all the way around,” head coach Britney MacLeod said of the match.

Later in the day, the Lady Tigers played Mark Morris High School. Ephrata came out of the gate swinging, with the first two points of the set scored by spikes made by Addison Mills. Ephrata powered through and took the first set 25-15.

The sets following did not go the same, though. In the second through fourth sets, Mark Morris stepped up its game, while Ephrata seemed to struggle. Ephrata had several serves and spikes throughout the sets that did not make it over the net, or were spiked so hard they went right out of bounds, solidifying Mark Morris’ victory in the following three sets, 25-20, 25-8 and 25-15.

Despite the two tough losses, MacLeod explained the team was proud to play at the state level.

“It wasn’t the end result we were looking for, but we set out in the beginning of our summer season talking about state as our goal,” MacLeod said. “It’s exciting that we were able to get seven kids All-League titles (three first team, two second team and two honorable mentions). I am very proud of my team for working hard and earning a successful season. Our six seniors will leave some big shoes to fill.”

The Lady Tigers had a loud fan section, which followed them to the state tournament. The student section, mostly boys, were the loudest of the group. They also had some fun, running to the pet store between the two matches to buy three goldfish, since they were the same colors as their team, and “because they couldn’t buy a tiger,” one said. Somehow the group was able to get the goldfish in the bag into the tournament and seemed to have fun passing the fish on to a different student to hold each time a point was scored. They were also heard asking people as they passed by if they wanted to “kiss the fish.” It was unclear what the boys were going to do with the fish after the game.

After the game, the fans waited to hug and congratulate the girls on their state run.

Rebecca Pettingill can be reached via email at rpettingill@columbiabasinherald.com.

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Rebecca Pettingill/Columbia Basin Herald

Ephrata senior Nayelie Alvarez (13), left, and junior Kyndal Hines (8), right, attempt to block a spike by an Anacortes player during Friday’s matchup in the first round of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association State Championships 2A volleyball tournament.

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The Ephrata Lady Tigers pose Friday at the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association State Championships 2A volleyball tournament.

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Rebecca Pettingill/Columbia Basin Herald

The boys in the student section hold the goldfish they bought and brought to the state tournament as their “mascot.”