With the beginning of their college careers just weeks away, the players at the East/West all-state volleyball series are ready to take wing.
None more so than Wahluke’s Talia Brewer.
Brewer, a 5-foot-10 outside hitter, will attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, an NAIA school in Prescott, Ariz.
“I’ve always been interested in flying,” Brewer said after helping the East A/B team to a 15-6, 15-4, 17-15, 15-11 win over the West as the series opened Thursday at North Central. “I want a job that’s challenging and interesting.”
Brewer’s father flew a helicopter after high school, but ultimately switched to the construction business.
“He regrets he didn’t stay with it,” Brewer said. “I’m kind of living his dream.”
The Brewers live in tiny Mattawa, which, translated from the Yakama Tribe’s language, means ‘Where is it?’
The answer? Mattawa is 20 miles south of Vantage.
Brewer will play for the first volleyball team at Embry-Riddle. The school’s lone sport until this fall had been wrestling.
Brewer said she’ll likely earn her pilot’s license in the first semester and work as a flight instructor before graduating. She hopes to fly commercial jetliners.
“Vietnam and World War II veterans are getting ready to retire (from the business), and they’re trying to recruit women,” Brewer said.
The East A/B easily flew over the West, scoring 11 consecutive points in the first game and 12 straight in the second. The West, taking advantage while East stalwart Angie Hall of Colfax rested, served three times for game three, but lost on a net violation. Despite the East’s 3-0 lead, the final game was played because teams had been assured at least four.
The West AA/AAA team seemed to have the late match in the bag, leading 2-1 in games and 4-0 in game four, when the smaller East rallied for a 15-6, 14-16, 5-15, 15-10, 15-9 win that stretched until 10:30 p.m.
The West had 11 players 5-8 or taller. The East’s fourth-tallest players were 5-8.
The final game was rally scored, meaning each serve was worth a point. The West led 8-5 and appeared to have its ninth point, but the head official overruled an “in” call. The East scored nine of the last 10 points.
“They had more middle (hitters) than we did, but we knew if we played good defense we could stay in it,” said Pasco’s Nanette Allen, whose kill ended the match.
The series wraps up Saturday at Fife High School.
Kills-East: Hall 14. West: Schmitz 11. Digs-East: Brewer 6. West: Smith 8. Assists-East: Wellsandt 16, Tribbett 16. West: Cody 18. Blocks-West: Sangel 6. Aces-East: Allen 2.
Kills-East: Erlebach 10. West: Mohlman 12. Digs-East: Ruemping 12. West: Fryer, Arend 7. Assists-East: Weber 24. West: Henry 18. Blocks-East: Quistad 3. West: Eggers 3.
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