By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The Stayton Eagles Volleyball team were coming off of back-to-back games Tuesday and Wednesday evenings with two wins from opposite ends of the spectrum.
Tuesday, they battled in a sweeping effort over Molalla 25-22, 25-18, 25-22 for their first win of the season. Wednesday, they were faced with some adversity when Seaside turned a Lady Eagle 2-0 match lead into a 2-all game entering the fifth-set before Stayton took the match in the fifth-set 15-8 to earn their second win of the season.
The McKay Tournament, which went from nine-teams to 12 this season had the Eagles go up against a tough team like Glencoe in pool play, then Aloha and Beaverton in the Silver Bracket play were Stayton lost two hard fought games to the 6A Warriors and Beavers.
For the Eagles, who were also trying out some line-up changes and mixtures, the challenges gave them an opportunity to prepare for the Oregon West Conference-play this season.
“I think it prepared us for Sweet Home, Sisters and Philomath,” said Megan Benson. “They are some of the tougher teams in our league and I think playing against Beaverton and Glencoe really helped us get that competitiveness.”
Marri Martinez led the offensive charge in bracket play as the senior sent hard hit balls and went up with teammates like Benson and Piper Freres to block shots at the net. Emma Heuberger, Tylee Bundy, Holly McGill, Kalista Szmyd and Genevieve Frith too help contribute along the way Saturday in Northeast Salem.
The different line-up changes, as pointed out by their coaching staff, will help them with team chemistry as they begin OWC-play Tuesday at Philomath as they polish off the little things in the meantime.
“We played club together so we all know how to play, but we did get told by our coach today that we need chemistry and find a way to talk and stuff. We figured it out,” said Heuberger. “I think we can talk more and read the ball better to get to our positions faster.”
First serve is at 6pm at Philomath High School.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald