Playoff Atmosphere With Three Games Left

By Jeremy McDonald

ADAIR VILLAGE, Ore.–  Three Top Five teams entered the gym at Santiam Christian Saturday afternoon.

We had number 1 Cascade Christian, number 2 Salem Academy and number 5 Santiam Christian in a unique three-team dual set-up similar to wrestling.
The Lady Eagles handed the Lady Challengers their first loss of the year and Cascade Christian wrestled a five-set match from the Lady Crusaders; squeaking the fifth-set win 15-13 to hand Salem Academy just their third loss of the season.
“I think we did really good, we played our game, yes it was hard to lose but we’re just going to hit practice on Monday and play hard and push ourselves to the best that we can do and just make ourselves better,” said Lindsay Larsen on the first game against the number one team in State.
“We love playing them, we love hard competition, they’re such a great team, they’re really good,” adds Paige Boles on playing Cascade Christian. “They’re just really good competition for us and it’s a good taste for us for possibly playoffs and State, so we enjoy it.  We have a lot of things to work on and so were just going to take it into this week at practice and work hard.”
Against the host Santiam Christian, the Lady Crusaders dropped the first set; but answered back by traded right down the middle the first 12 points, 6-all.
The Eagles took a 12-10 advantage over the next 12 points and started to pull away with a 16-11 lead when Salem Academy calls timeout.
Marissa Jantz (center) going down for a ball against Santiam Christian Saturday afternoon (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)
The Lady Crusaders got it to 18-14 before Santiam Christian pulled away for good, taking the second set, 25-15.
But, it was a learning experience for Salem Academy as they entered the final set against the Eagles.
“Just perseverance and not checking the scores as much, just taking it one point at a time,” said Larsen.
In that last set, through the fatigue and the mentally and physically draining day that Saturday brought, Salem Academy rallied to make it a 14-13 deficit mid-third-set, but the Santiam Christain would hold off the Lady Crusaders for the 25-19 victory to complete the 25-15, 25-15, 25-19 sweep of number-2 Salem Academy.
And with their Tuesday game at Gervais being the lone game for them this week, there’s going to be plenty of time to practice before their final two-games October 17 and 19 against Jefferson and Colton.

“We’re just going to work hard, push ourselves a lot, we’re going to have our hitters swing away at our defense,” starts Boles.  “We got some defense we need to work on and staying up mentally is a big thing for us, so we’re really going to come together this week and really work hard.”

Photos By Jeremy McDonald


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