By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.—Both Salem Academy and Scio were both coming into Monday evenings PacWest Conference game with some momentum as the two battled for sole possession of the second spot in the league standings.
The Lady Loggers won seven of their last nine games to help them clinch their third straight 10-win season at 10-4 entering Monday while the Lady Crusaders were winners of six of their last eight.
Scio came out slow out of the gate communicating and adjusting to Salem Academy with the Crusaders jumping out to a 6-1 lead that featured three-straight aces by Marissa Jantz to build some momentum in favor of the host.
“It’s very important to start very strong so you can have that lead later on so you can have a cushion so that if you make mistakes, you have room to pull ahead and win the set,” said Jantz. “Communication is always a big deal and so we can always get better at that. We can always improve upon it. But I feel like all-in-all, it’s just working on communication and connections amongst the players.”
The Loggers chipped away at the deficit, getting it to 13-10 before Salem Academy shut the door on Scio for the 25-19 set one defeat. For the Loggers, the thing that worked for them in the past in communication, faltered a bit against the Crusaders Monday.
In the second and third sets, they rebounded with them losing a tough second set 25-20. But it was the third set that they finally hit their stride as they hoped to pull off what they did down two sets to Santiam on September 12 when they stormed back to win in five.
“We kind of picked up our attitudes and got it together a little bit,” said the Loggers Bailey Davis
The Crusaders held a slight advantage as Olivia Betty’s ace kept it in reach at 6-4 before a run tied it at 12 thanks to Aspen Schudel’s kill. A Salem Academy-combo block of Grace Brown and Tristan Brabson for a point sparked a 5-1 run that swung momentum back to the Crusaders.
Scio had a comeback to cut it to 24-22 while Salem was a point away from winning it. The Crusaders would eventually get that last point to snap the Loggers five-game winning streak.
“Our game last week against Yamhill-Carlton, we talked a lot and we had fun. We could do a better job talking in practice and covering our spots and it’ll help us in future games,” said Davis. “It was definitely a hard loss. We just have to pick it up in practice and comeback stronger.”
Scio starts the second-half of league with another tough test with Blanchet Catholic Wednesday while Salem Academy opens with Dayton on Wednesday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald