Kernel volleyball hosts Soap Lake

Mansfield/Waterville B team players in action against the Soap Lake Eagles. They are Hallee Hughes, Ella Osborne, Bailey Viebrock, Harlie Zones, Macy Corey and Haley Vargas. (Empire Press photo/James Robinson)


By James Robinson
Empire Press Correspondent

The Mansfield/Waterville Junior High Kernel volleyball teams faced the Soap Lake Eagles March 6 at Mansfield.

The Kernels’ A team of eighth-graders played very well and won all three sets to win their match. The B team of sixth and seventh-graders did not fare as well, losing two of the three sets.

In B team action, Ella Osborne and Alexa Garcia had a combined 11 aces.

The Kernels lost the first two sets, 14-25 and 19-25. While it was a slow start in the first set, their teamwork improved and service errors were less in the second and third sets. Garcia started as the server in the third set and had 6 consecutive points. The team went on to win that set 25-18.

Kernel A team member Meredith Mittelstaedt returns a serve to Soap Lake as McKenna Gurnard, Brooke Willms, Alex Poppie and Eliana Silva watch. (Empire Press photo/James Robinson)

B team coach Thera Moore said, “The girls are improving every week and only one girl has not had a service point. All girls are getting to play which is a busy substitution rotation as we have 17 players on the B team. We set goals each week and we are meeting those goals. And, I am having fun coaching these energetic girls.”

The Kernels’ A team is a good squad as they have played volleyball since the sixth grade. In the first set, Meredith Mittelstaedt began with serving three aces. The winning point came from teammate McKenna Gurnard scoring the 25th point with the second ace of the set.

Teammates Brooke Willms and Alex Poppie had a combined total of 16 aces in the three sets. Service errors were down for both the Mansfield/Waterville and Soap Lake teams which shows the improved playing skills from seventh to eighth grade. There were longer volley sets with some players getting up to 15 volleys across the net. The Kernels won the sets 25-10, 25-13 and 25-15.

“These eighth-graders are great players and they love to compete,” said head coach Heather Hughes.

That spirit catches on for watching good volleyball action with the Kernels.