Waterville/Mansfield volleyball team notches first win of season in five-set thriller over Soap Lake

By David Heiling
Empire Press Correspondent

SOAP LAKE — The Waterville/Mansfield volleyball team notched its first win of the Central Washington 2B League season on Sept. 21, beating Soap Lake in a five-set thriller up north, 25-20, 17-25, 21-25, 25-8, 15-7. Shockers coach Melissa Flaget decided to give all her players some valuable, in-game experience and found success even though different players were on the court for different sets.

In the first set, Flaget started her starters and Waterville/Mansfield was able to edge the Eagles. Then, Flaget played her non-starters for the entire second set. The Shockers fell, and the match evened at one game apiece. The third set saw the starters back on the court and Soap Lake was again able to outscore Waterville/Mansfield, and the resulting Soap Lake win gave the Eagles held a tenuous 2-1 lead over the Shockers heading into a potential match-winning fourth set.

The fourth set of the night turned out to be the difference and Flaget said it was the team’s best set of the season.

“This game was by far their best game played yet,” Flaget said. “The setters moved the ball around to different hitters. They had success setting to the girls on the outside. Our serving showed much improvement this game. The girls did a better job communicating on the court as well. It was a fun game to watch and the girls enjoyed playing as well.”

The Shockers rode the momentum of the fourth set to victory in a league-mandated do-or-die fifth set to 15 points. Waterville/Mansfield more than doubled up their foes in the final frame to put an exclamation point on their first league match win of the season.

In comparison to the game against Brewster earlier in the week, Flaget said her team really came out to play and implemented practice focuses into the game.

“Defensively, the girls played very well,” Flaget said. “They are doing a much better job of digging the ball and making the second ball a playable one.”

The Shocker junior varsity squad also won their match.