By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Santiam Christian’s Emily Bourne is such an extrovert, the Eagle Senior once delivered ice cream by way of Doordash to a teammate in West Linn after the teammate had her wisdom teeth taken out.
“It was beginning of the smoke (from the wildfires), she had her wisdom teeth taken out and I doordashed her some ice cream while I was at work because she was living in West Linn and I was in Corvallis. I can’t drive it to her, so I sent her ice cream because I know it would make her happy,” laughed Bourne.
Her personality is upbeat, dancing on the court in between plays Monday night at the NPJ quads. Something her dad told her to start doing while she was playing with the 14’s squad a few years ago.
The idea was if she’s happier, then possibly it can help her team be up. Volleyball is such an intense sport, that it is important to stay loose during the game.
“When I’m dancing on the court, I’m playing better. My dad, my 14-season told me to dance while I’m on the court I’ll play better,” said Bourne. “You loosen up, you don’t get out of the game but you’re not as focused on your mistakes and everything. You’re just having more fun and I play better when I’m having fun.
“It’s more about bringing happiest to the game instead of being so focused. At the level we’re at, it’s always so hard. You’re always pushing yourself and sometimes you just got to relax. You play better when you’re relaxed.”
Standards are high at Santiam Christian. During her three years with the Eagles, they reached the 3A State Title game, winning two of the last three titles and are on a 38-game winning streak. Their last lost came way to Sandy on September 29, 2018.
The Pioneers are one of six 6A teams the Eagles have played the past three years. That relaxed mentality is crucial for success in the program.
“It’s definitely the same with my High School team. My freshman year I don’t remember as much because I was the only freshman on the team at State, it was pretty scary. My coach dances on the court during timeouts, handshakes before and dancing during it,” starts Bourne. “We’re doing sign language during it and talking to each other, just having a lot of fun. But we do know when to focus and when the energy needs to be towards the end of the game”
The Oregon State-commit has seen her fair share of competition these past few weeks. Yes, the past two weeks were probably a nice break with the air quality not being ideal to play in the NPJ Quads league she’s in, but going up against similar competition like the Bella Snyder’s, Bailey Savage’s and Bailee Harstook around has kept the SC outside hitter in her groove.
Yes, it’s four-on-four, but it gives her an opportunity to see the floor more while working on her craft. The hitting and serving is there, but the opportunity to work on her passing game is coming into the light during these games at The Hoop in South Salem.
“It’s definitely helping with my passing game,” said Bourne. “You don’t have a choice, they can’t hide you up in the front, you got to be active and passing. With one blocker, you learn how to go around them and over them.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald