By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Salem Academy came out hard against Gervais Monday evening in the Tri-River Conference Quarterfinals round at Salem Academy. Sweeping the Cougars 25-5, 25-15, 25-14 to advance to host Sheridan Tuesday night back in Salem.
Gervais did take advantage of a Crusader lull in the second set as Salem Academy’s energy was down a bit with the Cougs hanging around, down 13-9, 15-12 and 18-14. Having the Crusaders in sight of possibly stealing a set from their former PacWest Conference opposition in Salem Academy’s first-year in 2A.
“We had such good energy the first half of the second set and then it went downhill, we were so close. It was rough,” laughed Gervais’ Izzy Boyd. “We know what we did well, we knew what we needed to work on. We just didn’t perform as we should have, but I think we did alright overall.
“It taught me that we got to keep it up the whole entire game. I know with basketball, it’s different. You can have really good spots and keep your points up there, but it’s not the same in volleyball. You just got to perform better as a team.”
Salem Academy would finish the second set on a 7-1 run to go up two sets to none. Feeding off the energy of the small crowd inside and off of each other in the win.
The Crusaders would pull away once more in the third set after a tight start, pulling away from Gervais with a 15-7 advantage to hand their three Seniors in Lauren Wearne, Peyton Donaldson and Hannah Warde a win as they entered the TRC Semi-Finals Tuesday night.
The Spartans of Sheridan defeated Delphian in four sets to get to this point, and as important as Monday was to build that energy, Tuesday will be important. A win Tuesday will put them in the championship bout Wednesday against the winner of Kennedy and Western Christian.
“It was great to feed off of each other, the experience was amazing,” Wearne said. “The first set we pulled through with the win and obviously in the second set. With the energy and communicating, it was a big plus.
“We learn from each game and each game we take it one-by-one.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald