By Jeremy McDonald
OREGON CITY, Ore.—With NWAC South Region Playoff positioning at stake for both Chemeketa Community College and Clackamas Community College Volleyball to close out the regular season, the question become where will the chips fall?
The Cougars jumped out to a two sets to none lead on the Storm before Chemeketa rallied back to even the match at two apiece to force a decisive fifth set to put pressure on Clackamas on their Sophomore Night.
With both teams just doing enough in the hard fought battle to ensure a playoff position, they went back at it in the fifth set with the Storm seeing themselves behind 9-8 to the Cougars in the final set of the match.
That’s when Chemeketa freshman Delaney Smith came in. Like the Storm have done in situations this season, Chemeketa began to make one final push for the lead as Smith tied the game up at nine.
“We just remembered that we wanted to enter the NWAC’s strong and we didn’t want to end it on a bad note,” said Smith as the West Salem-alum had a team-high 22 kills Wednesday night and 177 kills. “We just had to stay our heads into the game.”
With second-place on the table for them, the Storm took the lead on the next play as they built a 12-9 lead before timeout being called on the court by Clackamas. The Cougars cut the lead to 12-11 before Smith pushed the Chemeketa lead to 13-11 and iced the 20-25, 22-25, 25-19, 25-23, 15-11 win on the road.
It was nice to build some momentum for the postseason said Smith, and as they closed out the season on a six-game winning streak their bench saw some action too during the season with the postseason about to begin.
“I’m super excited for postseason and ready for next year, I feel like postseason is where all the work comes in,” said Kaliee Sorensen, the Sprague-Graduate received NWAC Setter of the Week twice this season for the Storm recording 189 assist this season.
Haydn Quatre had a team-high 20 digs, Kennedy’s Hannah Arritola had 12 kills and Lauren Kerlegan had another 11 in the win.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald