By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Frustrations were there as the Salem Academy-Scio match entering the third set of the game for the Lady Loggers as they find themselves on the wrong side of a 13-25, 10-25 deficit to the Lady Crusaders.
And there were mixed emotions for Scio as they built leads of 9-6 and 11-8 against Salem Academy Wednesday night; happy that they finally were getting some intensity going, but too frustrated having it come now instead of earlier in the match.
“I’m glad that we got some intensity, but it was definitely not at the best spot of the game. We should have came out, right out of the gate with a lot more fire,” said the Loggers Makenna Cooper. “We can beat this team when we don’t have much mental errors, we can definitely beat Salem Academy when we’re playing our game. I wish everyone came out with that same mentality today.”
The Crusaders rallied to tie it at 11, but Scio kept par with Salem Academy for much of the reminder of the set. Tied at 13, the Lady Crusaders take a brief lead before the Lady Loggers took a 16-15 lead off the hand of McKenzie Reger.
Kara Stanridge ties it before Abby Mayta gave Salem Academy a 17-16 lead, remembering their philosophy of one point at a time and not focusing on what the scoreboard said throughout that set.
“We knew we kind of had to push point-by-point, take it one point at a time and just kind of not let up and what we learned from the Blanchet game to keep the intensity the whole time,” said Mayta on the mindset of staying the course throughout the set.55
Down 18-16, Scio made one last run and ties it at 19 apiece; but the Crusaders, staying the course, pushed forward for the 25-21 set win to complete the sweep. Salem Academy had 25 team kills, eight team blocks and 98 team digs in the win.
With the Loggers, it was one of the first time that they were playing with this particular starting line-up all year.
“I definitely think in the third set, we were talking a lot more, we’re definitely playing at our own level because we’re communicating to each other and know who’s hitting to who,” said Daija Smith. “In the first set, there was a lot of confusion, like with the rotation, we swtiched up our rotations and I think in the third set, we had a lot of energy, we were talking more.”
Smith, who had eight kills and 15 of the Lady Loggers 51 digs in the loss, points to the mindset and attitude on the court on something they need to improve upon between now and Tuesday game at home versus Jefferson in not letting a good kill from a Sydney Brown get to them and just keep their heads up.
For Salem Academy, who now sits at 6-0 entering this Saturday’s games at Cascade in the Cascade Tournament, the five-set thriller against Blanchet and the hard-work to finish off the sweep Wednesday against the Lady Loggers is just a taste of what is to come to close out the week.
And with a tournament that has strong 4A teams in Cascade and a Sisters team that won the 4A State Title twice and finished runner-up in-between those two title wins over the past three years, it’ll give the Lady Crusaders a golden opportunity to see where they are at several games into their 2017 campaign.
“I think this tournament is going to show our weakness’ and what we have and it’ll help us further to be able to fix those whatever we go through in this tournament,” said Mayta.