By Jeremy McDonald
ST. PAUL, Ore.—Erin Counts found herself saving a loose ball with game in a 22-17 battle in favor of St. Paul with the first set in its fourth long volley of the set when a Central Linn shot that went a little far off its mark help made it 23-17 in favor of the Lady Buckaroos in the waning moments of a 25-21 first set victory in the squads second game of the day.
Following their sweep of Livingstone Adventist Academy earlier in the day, St. Paul had to lace it up for their second meeting with the Lady Cobras in a few days and it felt like the old Tri-River League days when the two teams were in 2A.
It seemed so long ago, but it was just last year now that the Buckaroos dropped to 1A and are the second-ranked team in the State while Central Linn was fifth in 2A entering Monday’s match-up.
It was a nice challenge for St. Paul as their endurance was challenged, their fight came out and the gloves came off against Sydney Northern and the Cobras squad.
“When we play against them, we’re so energetic than our other games,” said Isabelle Wyss. “Like our other games, it’s a lot quieter but this one we’re so pumped it’s good competition.”
The Lady Cobras jumped out to a 7-4 lead following a Wyss-Counts blocks. But Central Linn rallied for a brief 10-9 lead before Jordan Caldwell tied it with Wyss scoring the next two points to hand St. Paul a 12-10 lead. That lead ballooned out to 18-12 with the Bucks sailing to a second set victory 25-20.
The Cobras though, would bounce back to win the third to extend the match to the fourth set and held an 8-5 lead before Wyss scored two of the next three point to tie the game at eight and just hung around waiting for a run.
“It was really important to us because we didn’t want to go five-games, we had to work hard to finish it,” said Counts. “I think this game is going to be really important to raise our level to see what we can do against tough teams.”
“I think going into it, after winning the first two games, knowing that the third game is promised and we have to fight for it,” adds Wyss.
Central Linn continued to hang around with the game tied at 11 before Counts gave the Lady Buckaroos a lead 12-11 and then a 13-11 lead moments later as they slowly outdueled their former league opponent for the four-set 25-21, 25-20, 19-25, 25-19 victory to improve to 13-0 on the season.
Up next St. Paul travels to the Oregon School For The Deaf in Salem to play Willamette Valley Christian at 6pm before traveling for McKenzie RPI Tournament this upcoming Saturday at McKenzie High School.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald