Gator Volleyball wins twice, clinches playoff birth
The Gator Volleyball team traveled to Centralia College on Wednesday, Nov. 5, to take on the last-place Centralia Trailblazers. The Gators took care of business and won in straight sets, with the set scores of 25-19, 25-19 and 28-26.
Rochelle Middlebrooks led all Gators with 12 kills on 17 attacks, posting a .471 hitting percentage. Audra Koke had 15 set assists and added five kills of her own to the Gator attack. Dana Alderson led the defense with 10 digs and Audra Koke and Carly Manning had eight digs as well.
On Friday the Gators traveled south to Lakewood, Wash., to take on the Pierce Raiders. The Gators came into the game with a two-game lead over Pierce for fourth place with three games to play. They clinched a playoff spot with a win: Green River took the match 3-1 with set scores of 25-21, 22-25, 25-21 and 25-16.
Middle Blocker Faith Faamausili had a career high 21 kills on 36 attacks, making a hitting percentage of .417. Rochelle Middlebrooks would add to the attack with 14 kills and a .205 hitting percentage. Audra Koke had 35 set assists and Carly Manning had 12 assists, combining for 47 assists. Four Gators recorded double-digit digs on defense. Dana Alderson led with 23, Maelynn Lautalo had 19, Erin Ryan had 13 and Carly Manning had 12.
The two wins improved the Gators' league record to 8-4.
Volleyball finishes 9-5, prepares for postseason
Last week the Gators had two crucial match ups against Highline and Clark, who were tied for second and third place, just one game ahead of the Gators at 9-3.
The Gators took on Highline last Wednesday and lost in a tightly contested match 3-1. The set scores were 26-24, 24-26, 25-23 and 25-19. With a loss and a Clark victory over Grays Harbor, the Gators had locked up the four seed in the NWAC Tournament Four Gators recorded double-digit kills: Ro Middlebrooks, Maelynn Lautalo, Faith Faamausili and Anna Laban.
On Friday, the Gators won a five-set thriller over Clark, giving Highline sole possession of second place. The set scores were 13-25, 19-25, 27-25, 27-25 and 18-16. Faith Faamausili led the way with 20 kills and Audra Koke had 38 assists. Dana Alderson recorded 20 digs, including a spectacular diving play that sparked a Faamausili kill and swung the momentum in Green River's favor with their backs against the wall in game three.
The Gators will open up the NWAC Championships against the number one seed from the south, Clackamas, at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Tacoma Convention Center.