Volleyball team advances to the 'Big Dance'
Last updated 10/31/2023 at 10:01am
The Lady Outlaws swept Vale at home in Sisters on Saturday, October 28, in the second round of the state playoffs, with scores of 25-14, 25-13, 25-13. Sisters entered the match as the No.1 team in the state, and the Vikings were ranked at No. 17. With the win the Outlaws advance to the final eight — the Big Dance — which will be held at Springfield High School on Friday and Saturday, November 3-4. The Outlaws will play in the quarterfinals on Friday at 8 a.m.
In the match against Vale, Sisters started off strong in the first set and led the entire way. Freshman Paityn Cotner stepped in as setter, ran a smooth offense, and did well. Gracelyn Myhre had a six- point serving run, including three aces early in the set, to bring the Outlaws to a 6-1 advantage. Midway through, Jordyn Monaghan had a four-point serving run, as did Gracie Vohs, and soon the Outlaws found themselves on top 19-7.
Cotner stepped back to serve with the Outlaws ahead 21-10, and brought the team to game point at 24-10. The Vikings wouldn’t cave in and came back to score four points before Myhre ended the set with a kill. Myhre, Vohs, and Kathryn Scholl all contributed powerful kills in the set.
Coach Rory Rush said, “We came out ready to play!” One of our goals was to maintain tempo and be in control. One of the ways we wanted to do that was from the service line and keep them out of system and we did that.”
Sisters started a bit slower in the second set, and it wasn’t until midway through the set that the Outlaws were able to pull away and record the win. Scholl pounded down a big kill toward the end of the set to give the Outlaws a 23-13 lead, and then Mia Monaghan stepped back to the service line, put the ball in play, and Robertson finished the set with back-to-back kills.
Rush said, “We came out so intense in the first set, and to maintain that into the second set takes a lot of focus. We’re working on that, and it’s been one of our goals.”
The Vikings played hard at the start of the third set, and by the time the score reached 10-10, it had been knotted up eight times. Myhre stepped back to serve and took the Outlaws to a 14-10 advantage, and from there Sisters continued to extend their lead. Sophie Rush had a three- point serving run, and with the score 21-13 Vohs served the Outlaws to the 25-13 win, with Scholl pounding down the final kill.
“So many teams rely on one strong rotation,” said Rush. “For us, teams can hang with us for a bit, but then our strength and depth becomes evident, because we really don’t have a weak rotation.”
Seniors Robertson and Monaghan commented on the win.
Monaghan said, “The second and third set started close, but we work a lot on come-back drills in practice, and that says a lot to our mental toughness. We focused on our basics and pulled away for the win. As we move forward we’ll continue to play together as a team, and we’ll all contribute.”
Robertson said, “I’m super grateful to this whole team and all the coaching staff. We’ve really created a family in the program. In that final set the bench really started cheering and it helped get our momentum up and push us through for the win.”
Vohs led the Outlaws with 21 kills, followed by Myhre, who recorded 11. Scholl tallied eight kills and Robertson added six. Vohs had 14 digs in the match, and Myhre had 12. Jordyn Monaghan recorded 10 digs, and Mia Monaghan added nine. Holly Davis dished out 31 assists, and Cotner finished with 11.
The team finished with 11 aces in the match, with Myhre leading with five.
As the Lady Outlaws look forward, Rush told The Nugget that the team plans to focus on one game at a time.
“We’re going to get in the gym and work out some kinks,” said Rush. “And, we’re also going to work on mental toughness.”