By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Don’t let the final score line of 25-13, 25-17, 25-23 in North Salem’s loss to McMinnville Tuesday Night fool you how these girls battle.
Leading into this game, the Lady Vikings Volleyball went 2-2 in their jamboree and had a 3-1 win over Willamette, at home, to start the season.
“We didn’t know too much about McMinnville at all,” started Sydnee Rupp. “We personally though have definitely grown together more. We came up with code words to be bring each other up when we’re down and everything.
“After we made so many mistakes, we get upset so we just think up that code word so that we can come together as a family.”
This team, young outside of four seniors that include Rupp, are slowly building that faith within themselves when they take the court.
“I think we know that we can play and we know that we are a good team,” said Marta Jantzi. “It’s just believing while we’re on that court.”
The first two sets, the North girls had their runs, but couldn’t get more than to one point down against the Grizzles as they enter the third set down two sets to none.
Despite that, they fought hard during the two sets; showing that building confidence and that faith going into the decisive third set.
“That we play together and realize that if we work together, we’ll succeed,” said Jantzi. “That’s when we got more of that momentum.”
Down 4-1 early in 3rd set, North rallied to take their 1st lead of the match with five unanswered points for a 6-4 lead before a service error cut the Lady Viks lead one.
But North continued to hold the lead as they lead 9-5 a few plays later.
McMinnville rallied though, taking a brief 12-11 lead before the Vikings regained a 14-12 lead.
Grizzlies tied it at 14, North Salem takes a 15-14 lead. A mishandled shot and a bad hit allowed McMinnville to take a 16-14 lead before Viks tied it at 16.
Down 20-16, North looked to rally with two quick point and another from Reianne Roberts to cut it to 20-19.
Looking to keep their lead the Grizzlies just got a point when the ball barely stayed in the line before a penalty gave Viks the point back before the score was tied at 21.
North took a 22-21 lead the next play, then 23-21.
A service error and an awkward ball placement brought McMinnville to a 23-all tie.
And though the last two plays resulted in Grizzlies point for the sweep, confidence is there as the girls of North (1-1, 0-1 GVC) look to make some noise in the Greater Valley Conference.
“It was definitely frustrating but it makes us realize that next time, when we come out and play McMinnville that we can definitely beat them and work ourselves harder at practices,” said Rupp. “Just practice harder and definitely work on our weakness’ and our strengths and stuff.”
North Salem will be on the road at West Salem Thursday at 630p before hosting Forest Grove Tuesday September 6 at home at 515p..
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