MONTESANO — The Bulldogs had yet to lose a match this season, but Tenino got them to teeter a bit before finally falling to Montesano in five sets, 24-26, 25-11, 19-25, 25-11, 12-15 here on Monday night in 1A Evergreen Division action. Erin Engebreth looked every bit her league MVP self in the Beavers’ effort, collecting 18 kills and 20 digs.
“We had times where we played amazing and we had times when we would turn around and not play well,” Tenino coach Emily Peterson said.
Tenino started off on the right foot as a Taylor Tibbetts block was the exclamation point in a 26-24 opening-set victory. Tibbetts finished with 23 kills and four blocks.
“The goal was to take them out and I think we can do that — we just have a little bit of a mental block,” Peterson said.
Tenino won the third set 25-19, but offensive miscues caused them to lose the second and fourth sets by identical scores.
“We missed a lot of balls on offense but we were able to turn it around at times and play really well,” Peterson said. “We’re really working on pushing ourselves mentally and just trying to get better in the gym.”
Montesano took the fifth set 15-12 after a few little errors cropped up and Tenino couldn’t claw its way back.
Libero Morgan Masters was strong on the night with 25 digs and 100 percent serving.
“She was kind of the highlight of our game,” Peterson said. “She was consistent and had high energy.”
Outside hitter Natalie Hall had six kills while setter Brandy Bratton had a whopping 53 assists. Tenino (7-3 league, 9-3 overall) was currently tied for third in the league and faced second-to-last place Forks at home on Thursday after the Nisqually Valley News press deadline.