Rams hold of Lions in four sets
By Gerardo Bolong
Good passing and defense in spots were just enough for the NPSL 4A Olympic division Mt. Rainier volleyball team to post a 3-1 victory against the visiting Cascade division Auburn Mountainview Lions in non league action held on Tues., Oct. 8.
MR finished its non league openers at 5-3 while AM fell to 1-6.
”At times, we played well,” said Ram head coach Patrick Taitano. "At other times, we looked like the young team that we are (four freshman starters). For the most part our defense played well. We passed well except for patches. We didn’t close well.”
In the first set, the Rams used good digs and blocks to assume a 10-4 lead.
The Lions showed consistency to draw close at 11-9, but Mt. Rainier used double blocking to pull away at 13-9 only to have Auburn Mountainview use finesse tactics to run off five straight points.
The teams then fought to four ties, the last at 18.
MR found its strike in a 7-0 scoring run that featured solid serves by Margaritah Banuelos and a key kill by Adrianna Taliloa in the securing of the set.
Exchanges of mistakes brought the score to 11-all before the Rams gradually pulled away to lead 19-13 in the second set.
AM fought back within 21-19 and 22-20.
Celia Dowell got Mt. Rainier tolling again with a timely kill from the left side to ignite the close out of the set at 25-20.
In a mistake filled third set, the squads traded long and short scoring surges to reach deadlocks at 21 and 22.
A wide Ram serve triggered a three point AM push fo win the set. Ashley Layfayette was a major factor for Auburn Mountainview.
Dowell and Taliloa led the Rams to leads of up to seven points in the fourth set before the Lions closed within 16-12.
Margaritah Banuelos enabled some good passing and deep serves while MR digs and blocks assisted in eight consecutive points to bring the Rams to the threshold of victory.
Auburn Mountainview was not finished, yet.
A six point run ensued before MR finally closed out the set and match.