By Jeremy McDonald
AMITY, Ore.– The target on their backs is slowly getting bigger with every set win and every game won this season.
The last time the Perrydale Volleyball team lost was August 25 versus North Douglas (2 sets to none result) before what was a 12-game winning streak entering Tuesday’s game versus Willamette Valley Christian, started with a 2-0 victory over Ione later that day.
The last time the Lady Pirates lost a match set, August 26 versus Hosana Christian (two sets to one victory for Perrydale) as they have swept eight-straight opponents entering Tuesday night at home.
But, the question becomes, how are they adjusting to this pressure? How is a team that won 10 games in 2016 with a young game after winning 21 in 2015 adjusting to a new pressure.
Only two girls are remaining from that 21-win, fourth-place team in 2015 and Alyssa Lux, who was a freshman on that team spoke to how they’re adjusting to the bigger target on their backs and looks at it as a work in progress.
“I feel like we still need to work on it because we were really young last year and so this year, we’re starting to get older, we’re starting to get the whole momentum down and stuff,” said Lux. “So I think we’re handling it pretty well, we just need to work on communicating basically and all the basics like smashing down the ball and getting it over.”
The main thing now for the Pirates is to focus on the here and now. With seven underclassmen (three freshman and four sophomores), it’s understandable to see why some thoughts would wonder during the game in thinking about the next point.
But there weren’t much of that against the Falcons as they took the first set behind Isley Burns who made several key blocks to seal a 25-10 lead to push the set streak to 24.
There were minor hiccups here and there in the final two sets, Willamette Valley Christian kept it close to start both sets and made a nice run late in the third set; Perrydale would shut the door in both sets to complete the 25-10, 25-
Burns, along with Sydney Perkins and company who led a strong net play along with some good serves, said that they need to be more consistent in those moments that teams make a run on them.
“We need to stay consistent, we need to learn from out mistakes, and when we get into those…those slumps we get into, we need to find a way to get out of there real quick,” said Burns.
Now 14-2, and possibly on a crash-course with that 21 win team with a chance to surpass that total and not to mention three-games against Crosshill Christian that could decide the Casco League and the Title, Perrydale knows that there’s still work to be done despite their strong start.
“I think we all got to keep playing as a team, we’re all pretty close so that really helps,” said Sydney Perkins. “I think once we all come together it really helps our momentum to keep us playing.”
“We need to motivate each other and get better every single time we’re on the court,” adds Burns.
“Definitely communication,” Lux said thirdly. “Because we really lack that and I think that we get not really into it the moment and playing and stuff. So we need to work on keeping our energy up and talking and stuff.”
But before Tuesday’s home match-up with the Lady Eagles, the Lady Pirates will have to travel to North Douglas to play the Lady Warriors (noon) and Trinity Lake (1:30pm) on Saturday.