By Jeremy McDonald
SHERIDAN, Ore.– Call it knocking off rust.
The season has finally kicked off for both the Salem Academy and Sheridan volleyball teams Thursday evening in Spartan Country and it showed especially during the first set of the Crusaders 25-17, 25-14, 25-13 sweep of Sheridan.
Salem Academy, who returned to 2A for the first-time since 2010, jumped out to a 9-0 lead on the Sparts before Sheridan slowly crept back into the game. Cutting the nearly double-digit lead to 20-15, catching the Crusaders in a lull that they carried over to the second set of the season opener.
They were familiar with tough teams like the Kennedy’s, the Delphian’s and the Culver’s so it was just a matter of settling down and focusing up for the Spartans.
“We talked about it and we were like ‘ok let’s do it. Let’s focus’ and then when we got it done, we just kept running it,” said Sheridan’s Emily Rech. “It was an eye-opener. It definitely woke us up and put us in our place for our first game, but we will definitely improve as the season goes on.”
The Sparts rallied from 8-4 down to tie the second game at eight before Salem Academy roared to life. Annabelle Brawley set the pace, Hannah Warde and Aly Herber threw Rech, Haley Ayala and Sheridan off-balanced in the second set. Outscoring the Spartans 17-6 to close out the set.
Being able to respond was huge pointed Warde, knowing they’ll have a huge task in front of them Friday when they take on Kennedy in Salem as they worked through the rust on this long road trip Thursday night. The two-squads met in 2019 with the Trojans winning it in four-sets in-route to a 2A State Title.
“It was definitely helping to prepare,” Warde starts. “It helped us realize that we need to focus a little bit more and stop making unforced errors, pull it back together and play the game that we all love and that we played last year.”
Tip-off for Salem Academy and the Trojans is 5pm. Sheridan will host Perrydale Monday at 6pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald