News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Lady Outlaws dismantle opponents on hardwood

The Lady Outlaws continue to dominate play on the volleyball court.

Last week, the red-hot squad posted two more wins: a 25-18, 25-10, 20-25, 25-19 victory over Summit at home on Monday, March 22, and on Thursday they swept Philomath at home with scores of 25-6, 25-16, 25-11.

In Monday’s match Greta Davis served six straight points to push the Outlaws to a 14-4 lead over Summit. The Storm rallied and tried to close the lead but Sisters held them off with strong defense and a quick offense to win the first set.

Summit was out of rhythm in the second set. Sisters served strong and the visitors just couldn’t get in system. The Outlaws had two serving runs in the set, a four-point serving run by Natalie Sitz and a five-point run by Sydney Myhre.

The tide turned in the third set. Sisters struggled and had numerous unforced errors. The Outlaws got behind and tried to make a run at the end when Anessa Stotts served five straight points, but the Storm held on for the win.

Sisters regrouped and were back on track in the fourth set. They limited their unforced errors, capitalized on Summit’s errors, and posted the win.

Davis led the Outlaws with 26 kills, followed by Sophie Silva, who finished with 13. Natalie Sitz added nine kills, and Ellie Rush recorded 37 assists.

“Summit is a fantastic program that has competed at an extremely high level over recent years,” said Coach Rory Rush. “We have the utmost respect for their program, so to be able to compete hard tonight and come away with a win is a great building block for this unique and challenging shortened season. We take great pride in playing larger schools each year as a sharpening tool to ready us for our tough league schedule. Tonight was an important step in our growth as a team.”

The Outlaws handled Philomath in three quick sets. Sitz served 10 in a row in set one to take Sisters to an 18-8 lead. The Warriors struggled to pass and the Outlaws all served well. Davis finished the set with seven kills.

In the second set the score went back and forth, and Sisters pulled away at the end for the win. Ellie Rush served the first eight points of the third set to put the Outlaws up 8-0 and, when they pulled to a 22-10 advantage, Coach Rush subbed out the seniors and put in the bench.

“The seniors received a standing ovation and it was like a passing of the guard,” said Rush. “It was an emotional and very sweet moment.”

The Outlaws were scheduled to play at Stayton on Monday, March 29, then wrap up their season at Sweet Home on Wednesday, March 31.

Prior to Thursday’s volleyball game against Philomath, the Outlaws honored their five seniors: Natalie Sitz, Tatum Sitz, Sophie Silva, Anessa Stotts, and Ellie Rush. Coach Rory Rush said that all five have been a joy to coach, and will be missed next year.

Natalie Sitz is a positive leader on the floor for the Outlaws and always sets an example of hard work and consistency for her teammates. She’s become one of their best servers and has established herself as a threat in the front row.

Tatum Sitz has not been able to play volleyball this year due to concussions, but has relished her role as team manager. Rush said that Tatum is a great example of what it means to persevere when life takes turns we aren’t expecting. Rush added that Tatum is a constant cheerleader and her positivity is infectious.

Silva is very athletic and she brings energy to the floor that the Outlaws rely on every match. She is competitive and always encourages those around her to work hard. Sisters can always count on Sophie to put the ball down when they need it. Rush said that Silva always knows what the team needs, whether it is a word of encouragement or a joke to relax everyone in the huddle.

Stotts has worked hard this year and has established herself as a steady force in the back row. She’s become a consistent passer, which has allowed the Outlaws to run their fast-paced offense. Rush noted that Anessa is the first to celebrate and the first to have a positive word for her teammates.

Ellie Rush is the Lady Outlaws quiet leader on the floor. She directs the offense, encourages her hitters, and makes sure things run smoothly on the court. She’s the calm one that players look to when things aren’t working, and the one they look to to control the game in intense situations. Coach Rush stated that Ellie sees the floor extremely well and always makes sure she gives her team the plays they need. She’s a great leader with court sense and a calm demeanor.


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