Outlaws beat the Billies in tough match

 

Last updated 10/17/2023 at 9:42am

Photo by Olivia Kennedy

The Outlaws celebrate a Gracelyn Myhre kill shot.

In volleyball The Lady Outlaws matched up against a tough Pleasant Hill (PH) squad at home on Monday, October 9. The Billies gave the Outlaws their biggest challenge in league so far, with tight matches that included several long rallies. Sisters, who for the past several matches have easily swept their opponents, and in less than an hour of play, were challenged by the Billies, who made them work hard for the four-set win with scores of 25-23, 20-25, 26-24, and 25-21.

At the start of the first set, fans could feel the energy and excitement of what proved to be an incredible competition between two great squads. The student section, which was packed, stood on their feet the entire match, and cheered for their Lady Outlaws.

In the first set scores were close, and back and forth, highlighted by long rallies and great defensive plays. Jordyn Monaghan stepped back to the service line with the Outlaws up by two, and served them to a 22-17 lead. Sisters soon found themselves up 24-20, but the Billies wouldn't give in, and fought to tighten the score 24-23. Bailey Robertson pounded down a hard kill to give the Outlaws the first-set win.

Pleasant Hill came out feisty and determined in the second set and took control from the start. The Billies dominated play with great offense that included well-placed kills, and Sisters quickly found themselves down 3-12. Gracelyn Myhre stepped back to serve with the Outlaws down 13-19 and went on a four-point serving run to close the gap to 17-19 and get Sisters back in the game. Unfortunately, the Outlaws never could catch the Billies, trailed the entire set, and lost 20-25.

"We came out slow in the second set," said Coach Rory Rush. "Coming off an emotional win, with the crowd and the excitement of the game, we weren't mentally focused. We couldn't connect offensively and by the time we started to make a comeback it was a little too late."

The third set was a very hard-fought battle. Scores were close and by the time the score reached 19-19 the score had been knotted up seven times. Jordyn Monaghan went back to serve with the score tied 19-19, Sisters got the point and took the lead for the first time in the set. It was a nail-biter to the finish as both teams made errors to take it to a 24-24 tie. Pleasant Hill hit the ball long to give Sisters a one-point edge and then setter Holly Davis hit it down the line for the kill and the win.

Just as in their previous match-up, PH forced Sisters to a fourth set. Vohs put down great kills close to the 10-foot line, Myhre pounded kills to the back, and Scholl and Robertson made kills from the middle. Davis served two consecutive aces that took Sisters to a 17-13 advantage. Katie Buller had a key block, Myhre served up an ace, and the Outlaws found themselves on top 22-18. To advance to 23-18, Jordyn Monaghan laid out on the floor with two great saves to keep the long rally going, and Vohs ended it with a powerful kill .Pleasant Hill narrowed the lead to 21-24, but a final error ended the match and the Outlaws recorded the win.

It was an exceptional match. Sets were highlighted by long, intense rallies with blistering hits and incredible digs from both teams that kept the crowd on the edge of their seats.

Rush said, "That second-set loss motivated the girls to come out strong and battle to get the next two sets. We didn't want to go five. It was a great win for us. We were able to pull out the win even when we weren't playing at our best. The majority of girls had just gone on the weekend IEE trip and they battled hard to stay mentally and physically focused.

"I'm so proud of the girls," added Rush. "It was so fun to see the crowd help motivate us. It's a great day to be an Outlaw."

Myhre led the Outlaws with 17 kills, followed by Vohs with 11. Robertson finished with 9 kills and Scholl added eight more. Mia Monaghan and Vohs both recorded 17 digs, Jordyn Monaghan tallied 15, and Myhre added eight.

Senior Gracelyn Myhre and junior Jordyn Monaghan both commented on the contest.

Myhre said, "Even though we played a tough team we pulled it together. We've been playing together for such a long time that we don't get rattled. Even at the very beginning when we made mistakes, we showed grit and came back."

Monaghan said, "We've been working hard this season and we've made a lot of changes for the better. We've been showing constant grit and our practices have really been paying off. Looking forward, we have to keep up strong practices, and strong mentality."

Going into the contest Pleasant Hill was ranked No. 1 in the state, but the Outlaws regained the top spot with their win over the Billies. Sisters is also at the top in league play, and Pleasant Hill is sitting at No. 2.

Two days later, the Outlaws played on the road at Creswell. The first two matches were back and forth, but Sisters prevailed with scores of 25-21, and 26-24. From there the Bulldogs fell apart fell apart and the Outlaws took the set 25-15.

Vohs and Myhre led the attack with 13 and 11 kills, respectively. Mia Monaghan tallied 20 digs and Davis recorded 36 assists.

The win over the Bulldogs puts the Outlaws in a position to win league. They were to celebrate their seniors at home on Tuesday, October 17 against Siuslaw, and will wrap up league play at La Pine two days later.

 

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