Hear that Panther roar

WHS volleyball team ends 28-year playoff drought

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Kaylee Baldwin digs up the volleyball Thursday, at Washougal High School. The Panthers defeated Columbia River 25-17, 25-17, 24-26, 25-23 to finish third in league and qualify for the district tournament for the first time since 1989.

The wild things were unleashed in the Joe Brown jungle gym Thursday.

Washougal defeated Columbia River for the second time this season in volleyball. The 25-17, 25-17, 24-26, 25-23 victory propels the Panthers into the district tournament for the first time since 1989. By sweeping Columbia River, Washougal also claims third place in league with a record of eight wins, six losses.

The Panthers were flying high in the first two sets. Setter Emily Johnson delivered 25 assists, to go with three kills and three aces. Kaylee Baldwin racked up 12 kills, 21 digs and three aces. Beyonce Bea added 12 kills, 15 digs and two aces. Maggie Hungerford gathered 17 digs. Rebecca Boylan, Gracie Dolan and Rylee Erdwins all had big smashes and blocks at the net.

Columbia River came alive in the third set, and rallied for an overtime victory. The Chieftains served four aces in a row to take a 21-19 advantage in the fourth set. Boylan and Johnson scored key points to keep Washougal within striking distance.

Dolan stuffed the Chieftains at the net to tie the score at 23-23. Johnson then made a nice swing over to Baldwin and she hammered home a point to give the Panthers a 24-23 lead. Washougal won the set and the match when River returned the last volley out of bounds.

The 2A district volleyball tournament starts Thursday, Nov. 2, at Tumwater High School.

Although this is uncharted territory for the Panthers, they say those teams from up north are going to hear them roar.

Read more in the Nov. 2 print edition of the Post-Record.