By Jeremy McDonald
By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– The first volleyball game has finally come for the Jefferson Lions and the Regis Rams Tuesday evening with both meeting up at Regis High School to kick-off the six-week short season.
The Rams were riding a steady hand during the first two sets of their 25-14, 25-10, 26-24 sweep of their Central Valley Conference-opposition in the Lions. Thanks to consistent play and taking advantage of the mistakes by Jefferson, Regis entered the third set leading two matches to none over the Lions.
“It was so nice, winning those first couple of sets by the amount that we did was a really good feeling,” said Regis Libero Sara Vetter. “Just keeping our endurance, our energy up especially when the other team is ahead by a couple of points or when we’re tired. Just keeping that energy, keeping that fire and pushing through.”
The Rams had to find a way to push through in that third and final set because Jefferson had looked to flip a switch during that final set. They held leads of 6-2, 12-9 and had rallied from 21-16 down to take a brief 24-23 lead in the third set of the game, coming within one point of forcing a fourth set on the host-Regis squad.
The difference was moving their dominant middle in Nashea Wilson to setter for that set and suddenly opportunities had presented itself for the Jefferson squad that caught the Rams off-guard.
“I told her we’re going to have you set and that’s what we’re probably going to do for the rest of the season honestly because it changed everything. She’s never set before and with her hands, her height and her ability to do…block and all that, we told her this is her best opportunity to get scouted,” Jefferson Head Coach Sydney Poorman said of Wilson.
Wilson set the school record last year in blocks as a sophomore in her first-year on Varsity. Furthermore, learning the rotations in six practices and then stepping in as a setter mid-game and did well had impressed the third-year Head Coach.
“It was really impressive, especially since she got the service-receive rotation. I didn’t have to tell her where to go, she just did it,” said Poorman. “Usually, it takes a good hour of practice to get everyone to know and she just tells people where to go.”
For Regis, who tied up the game on the next serve at 24 and forcing it to go into extra-points, it was a good lesson in making sure they don’t let their guard down as they finished off the match on the next two plays.
“It was so intense. After the first couple of sets, I think we got kind of comfortable and lost our energy. We got tired and when they started picking it up we weren’t ready. But I’m really glad we came through at the end,” Vetter said. “It was huge because this is our first game and this is my last season, I wanted to start on a good note and I’m glad we did.”
The Rams will be at Central Linn Thursday while Jefferson will be at East Linn Christian Academy Thursday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald