WINCHESTER — It was far from a perfect performance, but the Riverhawks knew it wouldn’t be.

Still, the Umpqua Community College volleyball team scored a sweep against visiting Centralia in its season opener on Friday.

Set scores in the nonconference match were 25-14, 25-18, 25-11.

UCC head coach Lacy Pinard got to see her squad in a match situation for the first time and came away encouraged.

“I’m very pleased with the end result. Centralia usually has a respectable program,” she said. “Most of it was holding home court. We had jitters a few times, but the team recovered really well and tonight’s transition offensively was great. Very pleased overall.”

All 11 Riverhawks who suited down saw action, and each contributed to the victory.

“We wanted to come out strong and win this match, so we could go in with momentum for this weekend,” UCC sophomore middle blocker Amiyah Shakoor said. “Having a match at home and having all that support helps us. Our chemistry is a lot better.”

“I think we did amazing,” added freshman outside hitter Kaitlen Haas, who led the Riverhawks with six kills and added eight digs. “We stayed controlled and played our own game. It was fun.”

Glide High School product Johanna Pope gave Umpqua a big spark in the second set. The freshman hitter finished with five kills in the match.

Megan Davis had 13 assists and six digs for the Riverhawks. Libero Shayla Limatoc made 12 digs, McKenna Wilson contributed 11 digs, Shakoor had four kills and three blocks, and Roseburg’s Breez Hansen and Morgan Johnson combined for five kills.

“Our biggest thing was getting the setters to give the hitters what they need, and I felt the hitters’ confidence raised with that,” Pinard said.

“Johanna (Pope) was working on a high reach because I don’t feel many can outreach her in this league. Kaitlen (Haas) was working on speed and punch.

“I was very happy with recovery. If they made an error, they didn’t shut down. They came right back asking for another.”

Olivia Mitten led Centralia with nine kills. Macey Martin made 14 digs and Kinsie Miller had 10 assists.

“(Our freshmen) were really impressive,” Shakoor said. “During practice I see it, but I saw more than that today. They really came out to shine. We’re definitely better (offensively) on the left side.”

The Riverhawks will play six matches at the Northwest Athletic Conference Showcase on Saturday and Sunday in Springfield. Umpqua opens against Green River at 9 a.m.

Tom Eggers can be reached at teggers@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4220.

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Sports Editor

Tom Eggers is the sports editor for The News-Review. He can be reached at teggers@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4220.

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