By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
The McNary High School varsity volleyball team is off to a roaring start after one league game and a weekend tournament.
The Lady Celts’ season got underway Thursday, Sept. 4, with a league contest against North Salem High School. The Vikings put on the pressure early in the first set, but the girls fell into a groove and gradually pulled away for the win, 25-17.
“We were talking really well and playing as a team, not as individuals. We did a good job of pumping each other up,” said senior Megan Douglas.
McNary took the next two sets with scores of 25-14 and 25-18.
“We showed moments of greatness, we just need to cut down on unforced errors and play through our nerves. The girls did a great job of taking care of each other on the court, they had fun, and I felt our defense was very solid,” said Kellie Scholl, McNary head coach.
Douglas led the serve receive with a 2.61 passing average and six digs. Junior Madi Hingston matched Douglas with six digs. Senior Ariana Neads had three digs and a 2.42 passing average.
On offense, Sydney Hunter racked up nine kills. Lauren Hudgin had six kills and four blocks. Junior Kaelie Flores put up three blocks.
The Lady Celts followed that performance with a second place finish in the gold bracket of the Mountain View High School Volleyball Tournament Saturday, Sept. 6.
“It was just a good team effort by everybody,” said senior Hali Thurston. “There wasn’t any situation where we gave up.”
Thurston and Douglas both cited a match with Sunset High School as the high mark of the day.
“That was the match where it seemed like everything we’ve been working on came together. There was a fire burning in us. They had been playing well all day so we really wanted to step up,” Douglas said.
Early in the tournament, McNary split a match with Marist High School (18-21, 21-17), then dominated Redmond High School in straight sets of (21-8, 21-9). Two wins over Grants Pass High School (21–12, 21-18) launched the team into the gold bracket and set up the Sunset match. McNary beat Apollos in sets of 25-14 and 25-22 before losing to Bend High School 20-25 and 16-25.
“Our girls just ran out of steam in that last game,” Scholl said. “The setting was great and our defense was the highlight of the day.”
The team traveled to McMinnville High School Thursday past press time in a double header with the host school and West Salem High School.
“It’s going to be a tough day, but it would be nice to see us push through that and work together,” Thurston said.