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Day: April 23, 2014

Girls tie Vikings, fall to Titans on courts

Lady Celt Sami Trowbridge chases down a volley in competition with West Salem High School last week. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Lady Celt Sami Trowbridge chases down a volley in competition with West Salem High School last week. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

While neither of the McNary High School girls varsity tennis team’s matches last week were wins, the Lady Celts turned in a number performances that bode well for the future.

The Celts tied North Salem High School 4-4 and lost to West Salem High School 5-3.

Playing the lead singles for McNary, junior Sandy Childress beat North’s Maribel Ocampo in two sets, 6-4 and 7-6 (7-3).

“She did a fantastic job of starting us off right and getting us that win that helps us play really well,” said Mark Kohley, McNary head coach.

Junior Rachel Morrow followed suit at No. 2 singles with a win in straight sets, 6-3 and 6-4. Taslima Sidhu won in the No. 3 spot with set scores of 6-3 and 6-1.

Katie Stignei and Megan Thompson, the team’s only seniors, took the only win in singles matches with scores of 6-2 and 6-0. Ariana Neads and Sami Trowbridge battled to three sets with their Viking opponents, 2-6, 7-5 and 6-2, but ended up with a loss.

“There was a difference in abilities and rather than forcing them to play our game, which would have been more aggressive. We played down, and played down a lot,” Neads said.

Childress and Morrow both scored their second wins of the week in the match with West. Childress’s match ended quickly in sets of 6-0 and 6-2. Morrow had more of a battle, 7-5 and 6-3.

“Rachel wasn’t too crazy about playing singles this year, but she’s off to a great start and Sandy has been offering her lots of help,” Kohley said. “Rachel stands a good chance of sneaking up on some people if she keeps progressing.”

Up against a West doubles team that went to state last year, Stignei and Thompson fell in sets of 7-5 and 6-3, but Kohley said there was a moral victory to be had.

“That’s a tough team to draw and they competed strong throughout the match,” he said.

Neads and Trowbridge won in three sets after a stumble in the second, 6-1, 1-6 and 6-1.

“We played a lot better and more strategically, and kept that going,” Neads said.

Trowbridge said good service and communication saw the pair through to the end.

As far as improvement in the coming weeks, Kohley said he’d like to see the younger players moving along more quickly.

“We’ve been kind of slow to grow, and these girls are capable of moving faster,” he said.

Trowbridge said the juniors and seniors on the team are invested in helping them along.

“It can be tough to remember that we started from the same place, but we can help them by doing drills with them and getting outside of our usual practice partners. A lot of them are already progressing well,” Trowbridge said.

Lady Celts shut out in CVC opener

McNary’s Kinsey McNaught sends a pop fly to left field and just outside the foul line in the contest with West Salem High School Tuesday, April 15. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
McNary’s Kinsey McNaught sends a pop fly to left field and just outside the foul line in the contest with West Salem High School Tuesday, April 15. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School varsity softball team drew two tough teams in succession last week and chalked up a pair of losses as both games unspooled in a single inning.

Tough pitching and a 10-run fourth inning on the part of the South Salem High School Saxons led to a 12-0 loss for the McNary in its league-opening contest.

“It felt like the errors were compounded in that one inning. We kept making little mental errors, but we can eliminate those,” said Lady Celt Madi Oliver.

The Lady Celt’s Hannah Carr was the only batter to get a hit off South’s Katie Donovan. The Saxons made their run in the fourth inning by stringing together hits and taking advantage of McNary’s defensive errors.

“Our defense is usually fine, but in both games last week we had one inning that messed up the whole game,” said McNary junior Megan Ulrey.

It was an uncharacteristic off-game by the Celtic line-up, but the Saxons are the only team in the Oregon School Activities Association 6A classification hanging onto an unblemished record (9-0).

“I think we got a little too into our heads at the plate,” Ulrey said. “We need to work on having a plan every time we go up to bat.”

The battle for the Central Valley Conference is likely to be a heated one this season. The CVC has three-Top 10 teams in the latest rankings: South, Sprague High School (No. 5) and McNary (No. 8).

Prior to the contest with South, McNary faced No. 3 Tualatin High School Wednesday, April 9. The Keizer team lost 8-1 after a breakout five-run second inning by Timberwolves.

The Lady Celts’ only run came on a Carr single that scored senior Dani Saunders from third base. Carr led the team at the plate going 2 for 3.

Ulrey was pulled from the circle in the second inning making way for Oliver. Oliver closed out the game with four hits and three walks.

Last week might have been a stumble, but Ulrey knew the team could bounce back.

“Once we get back to hitting everything seems to go well,” she said.