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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Bengals bust loose for win

The Lewiston High volleyball team has been no better than the third-best team in the Inland Empire League’s three-team 5A pod for years.

But coming into the 2005 season, Bengals coach Judy Fong believed her team had finally reached the point at which it can compete with Lake City and Coeur d’Alene.

Fong may have had her doubts after the first two games Thursday, but her Bengals rallied for a rare win over Lake City – 18-25, 24-26, 25-21, 25-20, 15-12 at LC.

The scrappy Bengals relied on defense and an up-tempo attack never executed by a Lewiston team.

The loss spoiled the debut of LC coach Jenny Owen, a 1996 LC graduate who replaced longtime coach Kent Scanlon.

With the addition of three transfers and a new coach, LC looked every bit the part of a team making a transition in styles. The Timberwolves showed infrequent glimpses of their talent. Too often they were called for net violations and four times gave away points on rotational errors.

The fifth game was a microcosm of LC’s match-long problems. After falling behind 9-4, Owen called a timeout to try to stem Lewiston’s momentum. The T-Wolves responded when senior Renee Bordelon had a nice off-net kill. But Owen immediately had to waste her final timeout to avoid a fifth rotational error.

“We had moments of brilliancy and I can see where we can go,” Owen said, “but at the same time we had moments of youth. We won the first two games and didn’t even play as well as we could. It came down to a little bit of a lack of confidence and lack of heart and desire to win.”

Bordelon had three aces and three of her match-high 11 kills in the first game. LC fended off a late Lewiston (5-2 overall, 1-1 league) rally for the decision in the second game.

In the third game, Lewiston asserted control from the opening serve, building a 20-10 lead. LC rallied, pulling within 22-20 before Becky Edmonson served out the win for the final two points.

Just as it did in the third game, Lewiston took control in the fourth and never allowed LC a chance to recover. The pattern continued in the deciding game.

Junior middle hitter Tabitha Mabrey, a transfer from Bainbridge Island, Wash., had eight kills and senior outside hitter Lynn Hoppert added seven for LC. Mandie Edmonson led Lewiston with 10 and three other Bengals combined for 15.

“It’s OK to make a mistake once, but to make it twice means we’re not thinking,” Owen said. “Our defense was really disappointing. There are certain things that we need to do to be successful. There are things that we can control, and we didn’t control the things that we can. That’s communication and position.”

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