By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It was an uniqueness to the Market Street Showdown between McKay and North Salem High School Thursday night at McKay High School.
Both teams were riding losing skids (North at nine, McKay at three). Both haven’t won Greater Valley Conference sets either.
The latter changed for both teams Thursday night.
The Vikings were dominant out of the gate, take set one and two with an exact score of 25-19 over the Scots for their first two GVC set victories of the season.
Down but not out, McKay rallied and took set three to avoid the sweep from their neighbors from down the way with a 28-26, extra time victory for their first GVC set win.
“It’s a big motivation,” said Scots Head Coach Scott Coons. “But at the same time our emotions get high and it makes it a little bit more difficult to come from behind, so we’re learning.”
Riding their emotions, McKay jumped on North and built a 19-15 lead and the match had the makings of a five-set thriller thanks to Shay Coons setting the pace for her team stretching back from the third set.
North mounted a last stand of sorts however, eventually tying it up at 20-all moments later as momentum slowly came back to the Lady Viks en route to a 10-3 run to snatch the win out of the hands of the Scots.
“It was definitely exciting and nerve racking at the same time,” described North’s Sydnee Rupp on that fourth set. “We were all on our toes the whole time and we were just hoping for the best and we had faith in our teammates and we knew we could pull off the win.”
Coons was happy with how his McKay girls battled back after the slow first set as they tied North in the second set at 15 before battling hard in the third and fourth sets.
“It shows they’ve got heart and they got determination, our girls definitely have that,” said Coons. “And they’re getting it more and more. It’s tough when you lose that first set and you lose that second one and you come back into it, that shows that determination that we always want.”
As to finishing with the lead, it’s all in the process of learning added Coons.
“That’s the emotions of young, teenage athletes, they haven’t learned how to checked that yet,” started Coons. “But they’re getting better at it. So we’ll get there, we’re on the right direction.”
For North, the reminder of battling through this four-set battle goes behind snapping a nine-game losing streak.
“It definitely tells us we’re conditioned enough to go five sets and that we definitely have the mentality and everything to go from a loss to winning again,” said Rupp. “Like we have that mentality of striving through.”
UP NEXT- McKay- @ Sprague (9/27) 630pm North Salem- vs West Albany (9/27) 7pm
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PHOTOS BY JEREMY MCDONALD