News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Volleyball takes silver at state

The Lady Outlaws won their first two games of the 4A 2021 Showcase and then fell in the championship game to Sweet Home.

Lady Outlaws endured a four-and-a-half hour bus ride to Corbett on Tuesday, April 6, and played in a very warm gym which proved to be a challenge in their first game. It was a hard-fought battle in the first set but Sisters prevailed 28-26, and went on to win the next two sets 25-14, 25-20. Two days later they faced Junction City at Marist High School, and earned the sweep with scores of 25-15, 25-16, 25-20. On Saturday they faced league rival Sweet Home in the Championship and lost in a four-set match 22-25, 20-25, 25-20, 19-25.

In Tuesday’s opener at Corbett, the Outlaws, struggled to find their rhythm, played tight, looked nervous, and were out of sync. Sisters played from behind the entire first set. They found themselves down by six points at 16-22, and then slowly began to chip away at the Cardinals’ lead with consistent serves and smart net play.

Sophie Silva did a tremendous job at the net, and put down a great kill at 19-23. Silva earned the next three points with her strong net play; two big kills and a tip.

Sisters went on to capitalize on Corbett’s errors. Down by one, 23-24, and with the game on the line, the Cardinals had an overpass and Silva slammed the ball down hard in their open back court, which tied the game 24-24, and shifted the momentum in the Outlaws’ favor. The game went back and forth with teams exchanging the lead. A kill by Greta Davis gave the Outlaws a 27-26 edge and an ace by Silva sealed the win. The Outlaws held the momentum as teams entered the second set.

In the second set Sisters did an incredible job at the service line. Corbett struggled to pass and find their rhythm and the Outlaws earned a quick, easy win. In the third set there were numerous lead changes until the Outlaws pulled away at 15-14 on a Davis kill. Sisters kept the lead and posted the win.

Coach Rory Rush said, “Towards the end of the first set there was a shift and I could see their confidence return. We had great net play tonight and coming back from being down all game was so important for us as a team. It was so fun to watch and we were so proud of the girls for never giving up.

“Corbett was a great team,” added Rush. “They were very well coached, great passers, and amazing servers. They got a jump on us early and made us work for every point.”

Davis finished the match with 22 kills, and Silva recorded 15 kills, three blocks, and two aces. Natalie Sitz added nine kills and two aces. Ellie Rush dished out 27 assists, and Silva and Rush combined for 22 digs on defense.

Davis commented, “Midway through the first set we decided to play as a team and to play aggressively and confident like we usually do. We made that switch and never looked back. We battled back in that first set and proved to ourselves that we could compete with them. Our team didn’t just consist of just one person, it was all six of us firing on all cylinders.”

Silva said, “We started out a little rough in the beginning, but we were able to clean things up and win the first set. Our chemistry and drive in the second and third set were key to helping us come out on top with the win.”

After handling Junction City, the Outlaws faced rival Sweet Home, who once again proved to be a very tough opponent. The Outlaws fell in four sets.

Sisters started the first set with a big kill by Silva and then another by Davis. The team was excited and the set went back-and-forth until Sweet Home capitalized on a few unforced Outlaws’ errors and took a three-point lead. The Outlaws couldn’t catch up and Sweet Home took the first set.

The second set was another back-and-forth contest, with kills by both teams. The lead exchanged several times and both teams had tough kills and great serves, but Sisters fell short at the end.

The Outlaws knew they needed to get a jump on the Huskies early in the third set. Sisters was able to keep Sweet Home out of system with their tough serves, while they put the ball down hard with great kills. The Outlaws earned nine of their first 11 points on kills. They were fired up and held onto the momentum and recorded the win.

In the fourth set, both teams had great offensive moments and both suffered errors. Sweet Home had fewer unforced errors and had some well-placed balls that the Outlaws couldn’t pick up and took the fourth set and recorded the win.

Silva led the team with 17 kills and six blocks and Davis finished with 17 kills and three blocks. Gracie Vohs put up five kills and four blocks, Rush recorded 40 assists, and Stotts had 12 digs.

Coach Rush said, “While our season didn’t end as we had hoped, I am so very proud of the girls for putting everything into our season and leaving nothing on the court. They worked tirelessly during the off season and while this was an unconventional year they never let the craziness of the season detour them from their goals. They had great team chemistry and battled together to the end.

“As this season comes to a close I am incredibly grateful for our five seniors and what they brought to our program,” added Rush. “They set an example of hard work and dedication every year. They leave the program accomplishing a first, fourth, and now a second place finish, an incredible legacy to leave behind.”

 

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