By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It’s only the jamboree, but the energy that North Salem Volleyball brought during the Salem-Keizer jamboree was at a high-level in sports Thursday at McKay High School. Almost halfway in the season-like as they slowly built some confidence entering their season and Mid-Willametter Conference opener at Corvallis this upcoming Wednesday.
“I think the momentum is good,” said Ashlyn Boogar as North Salem tried to find whatever they could to get energy going in the jamboree. “I mean our coach said fake it until you make it, so if your not feeling energy, you give out the energy that you want to have and eventually it comes naturally no matter what the scoreboard says.”
The Lady Vikings lost three seniors from last season with several younger girls picking up valuable Varsity experience in 2017 following a senior-heavy 2016 North team the year before.
With Marta Jantzi, Eve Manumaleuna, Gabby Tata-Rodriguez, and Boogar to name a few returning this season; the Viks slowly pieced together a few nice single-set battling wins over West Salem and McNary following their opening set loss to Sprague to start the jamboree.
The communication was there, but as Jantzi pointed out, they could always improve upon it moving forward. Almost foundational-like.
“I think anything that any team, especially us, can improve on is communication,” said Jantzi. “We got together a lot more during this jamboree and communicate, but communication is always something that can bring a team together and not having the lulls and have a straight game and not a rollercoaster game.
“Communication is the most important part of Volleyball. You can have skills, you could have a team that is very good But if you don’t communicate, your not a good team and so if we communicate and make sure we don’t get down on the little plays and move past them, move onto the next play then we’re home free.”
And it’s not like the Vikings are walking into a MWC that has Corvallis (third-place 2017) and Lebanon (fifth-place 2017) returning the bulk of their rosters as North Salem uses their old adversaries from the old-Greater Valley Conference days as a reminder of what is ahead for them this season.
“We were talking a lot, we have a good bond each other. The connection with us is there,” said Tata-Rodriquez. “It gets us more ready for back-to-back matches and against the same level teams, we’re going to be ready for them. Just bring the energy and keep talking, that’s pretty much the main thing.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald