By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
McNary came out swinging against Sprague, 17-5 overall and 11-1 in the Greater Valley Conference.
The Lady Celts just didn’t land enough punches, falling to the Olympians 3-0 on Monday, Oct. 9.
McNary’s best chance to pull off the upset came in the first game, which the Lady Celts led until Sprague took a 19-18 advantage.
Two kills by sophomore Chloe Diede kept McNary within reach at 22-23 and a block by Valerie Diede tied it at 23-23. But the Olympians won the next two points to take the set 25-23.
“We quit swinging,” McNary head coach Crystal DeMello said. “The girls are really good when they keep swinging. They were willing to do the work. Our serve receive was on tonight. But when you’re in the lead, you need to capitalize and that’s something that we needed to do tonight and we’ll keep working on it.”
Sprague took a 6-5 lead in the second set and never let it go, winning 25-18 to take a 2-0 advantage.
McNary led 14-13 in the third game but the Olympians went on a run to finish off the Celts 25-19.
“They kept us on our toes,” DeMello said of Sprague. “They had a couple moves that we don’t see from other teams, some things that we’ll be better prepared for. They made some great shots and some great plays that we hadn’t seen executed before.”
DeMello said the girls also need to work on communicating, especially when times get tough.
“It was really, really quiet in the long rallies and everyone knows that the longer the rally, the more we need to talk,” DeMello said. “It keeps the cohesiveness of the team together and keeps them on the same page and that was lacking.”
McNary went to Forest Grove, where they lost to West Albany 3-0 (16-25, 17-25, 22-25) but then defeated the host Vikings 3-0 (25-19, 25-8, 26-24) on Thursday, Oct. 5.
“West Albany is a great team and we needed to serve receive in that game,” DeMello said. “To turn around and come back after playing West Albany, the team did well with that and made sure that they gave the ball to the right people.”
The Lady Celts are playing in a tournament at West Linn on Saturday, Oct. 14 and then close out the regular season at home versus South Salem on Thursday, Oct. 19 at 6:30 p.m.
“It will be a great opportunity for us to get our momentum back and it’s always nice to play a few games in a row and shake out your feet and get going,” DeMello said of the tournament. “That’s the plan. That’s how we hope to close out.”