Mt. Hood CC scores a quick three-set sweep over Wenatchee Valley in the first round of the Northwest championships

by: THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Mt. Hood CC libero Kelsey Merritt celebrates a point during the teams first-round win over Wenatchee Valley on Thursday.

The Mt. Hood CC volleyball team got off to a flying start at the Northwest championship tournament Thursday afternoon, blitzing Wenatchee Valley 25-17, 25-16, 25-17 for a first-round sweep.

The Saints faced their only real challenge when Wenatchee traded points early in the third set and found themselves deadlocked 6-6.

Mt. Hood’s heavy-hitter Tori Kemper took care of the threat with a three-point spurt that started with a kill out of the back row.

The Saints maintained their edge by forcing three straight side outs to stall the Wenatchee attack, then put the final set out of reach when Kemper served up an ace to spark another three-point run that stretched the margin to 20-12.

“A quick wins gives us a lot of energy for the games coming up,” Kemper said. “We’ve been training all year for this. We are starting out with a lot of momentum and hope to carry that all the way through to the finals.”

The reigning champion Saints advance to the second round where they will face North Region runner-up Bellevue at 12:30 p.m. Friday. With a win, Mt. Hood would advance to the quarterfinals likely facing East champion Blue Mountain at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

The tournament bracket is available at

Look for extended first-round coverage, including recaps from the day's earlier matches in the Friday, Nov. 16, edition of The Outlook.

View a photo gallery from Mt. Hood's first-round match at ...

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