The Cheney High volleyball team has found themselves in a place they haven’t been in a long time — at the top of the Great Northern League.
After 3-1 wins over West Valley, Sept. 22, and Pullman, Sept. 24, the Lady Blackhawks are now in first place in the GNL standings.
Cheney came in with a lot of momentum against West Valley. Game scores were 25-23, 20-25, 25-18 and 25-16.
Head coach Heather Zorrozua said she saw some “great stuff” from her team in the West Valley match, as well as some things they need to work on, specifically when they have a big lead over their opponents.
“Sometimes when we get big leads, we kind of sit back and wait to see what the other team does,” Zorrozua said. “This week we’re working on trying to push and maintain that momentum when we have a strong lead, rather than step back.”
Taylor Gould led the match with 14 kills. Peyton Stark had a personal best with 35 assists and led the match with five serving aces. Zorrozua commended Stark’s efforts in the second match, as well as her stepping into the role of a team captain.
“She’s really stepped up her game,” Zorrozua said. “Against West Valley, she showed she deserves to be in that leadership spot.”
On defense, Gould led the match with 14 digs and KD Skillingstad had two blocks.
The Lady Blackhawks kept their momentum going against Pullman. The game scores were 25-22, 25-20, 12-25 and 25-9.
Zorrozua, who received two yellow cards for yelling at officials and had to sit for part of the match, said she felt her team was “ready to go” during warmups. Similar to the match against West Valley, Zorrozua said her team let up in the third set, which allowed Pullman to prevent the sweep.
“During that third set, we expected to win and stepped back,” Zorrozua said. “It was a teaching moment. It showed us that if we want to sit back and just watch, we won’t be successful.”
On offense Rylie Pease and Skillingstad had nine kills and Stark recorded 25 assists. Pease and Stark led the match with three aces each.
On defense, Hailey Bridges had 13 digs and Gould and Marissa Peach recorded one block each.
“Bridges played a great match from the back row,” Zorrozua said.
The Lady Blackhawks, 3-1 GNL and 4-1 overall, entered the second round of Great Northern League play after hosting East Valley, Sept. 29. They travel to Clarkston today (Oct. 1) to play the Lady Bantams, then will compete in the Linda Sheridan Volleyball Classic, Oct. 2-3.
With Skillingstad back in the lineup, Zorrozua said her team should fare better this time against Clarkston, who defeated Cheney 3-2 on Sept. 15.