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With a tumultuous student section which included chants, backflips, and an overall interminable distraction to the Selah High School volleyball team, it was only fitting that the Ellensburg High School volleyball brought the same energy in front of its home crowd.

The Bulldogs rolled CWAC rival Vikings for a 3-0 (25-21, 25-15, 25-17) sweep on Tuesday.

“We talked a lot about our loss on Saturday and refocus on our goals, what they wanted from the season,” head coach Debbie Landrie said. “What they are going to contribute to the success of the team. Talked about those things, focused on what we saw as weaknesses that we showed against West Valley and worked on this.”

The Bulldogs (4-1) outright dominated Selah from the start — and throughout the match. Only once did the Vikings hold a lead and was no more than a mere point.

Ellensburg had a serving percentage of 84.7 percent and a hitting percentage of 0.196 percent. Kills were evenly shared within the team as senior Payton Lyyski led the way with eight of them. She also an ace and two blocks.

Ellensburg was consistent with taking an early advantage and maintaining it.

Landrie said the team’s Monday practice segued into their match versus Selah (3-1).

“Practice Monday was great. Unbelievable,” she said. “And their focus was probably the highest I ever seen it and they came out and started that way which is awesome. We haven’t started that in a lot of matches so far this year.”

Lyyski came out firing in the opening set, accounting for the first four of five points for Ellensburg.

According to Landrie, Ellensburg has been working towards “running the middle attack more.” Junior middle blocker Alice Bennett added six kills and one block.

“After Saturday, we were trying to come in and be super intense and put the ball in the right spots,” Lyyski said. “We’re also trying to keep good eye work when we’re on their blockers. Kind of watch the setter, check where she’s going to set it and get to the hitter as fast we could, and continue to keep our intensity and our energy up.”

And Lyyski finished what she started. The Bulldogs mounted a commanding 22-7 lead in the final set, but the Vikings ensued with a 10-2 run to get within seven with Ellensburg needing just one point. It came to fruition when Lyyski slammed a kill on an assist from senior Leah Stueckle to end the game.

“Definitely a good start to playing CWAC teams,” Lyyski said. “After Saturday, I thought it was a good upbeat game.”

Stueckle notched 14 assists and 10 digs. Senior Shauny Fisk tallied a team-leading 23 digs. Senior Maia Valencia had 11 assists and four digs.

Sophomore Reaghan Naboychik and freshman Abby Harrell each had six kills. Senior Grace Oldham and sophomore Lydia Becker each had four.

Ellensburg hosts Othello High School (2-3) at 7 p.m. Thursday.


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