By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The plan is to eventually put Sheridan junior Hayley Ayala on the outside on the volleyball court as a Outside Hitter after serving as the setter for the Spartans last season.
In Sheridan’s jamboree opener against Tri-River Conference and jamboree-host Western Christian Thursday afternoon, Ayala was placed as the Outside Hitter on the left. Helping the Sparts to a 25-19 victory over the Pioneers.
“I think I’m doing good, we’ve done it a lot at practice and I miss being a setter at times,” Ayala said.
Ayala set in their second scrimmage with Scio, showcasing her versatility as the season is slowly coming over the horizon.
“It’s good. I like it a lot,” Ayala said.
Sheridan was going through a bout of early season bumps and bruises, but showed in their opening match with Western Christian that they weren’t going down without a fight.
The TRC has been tough since they joined in 2018. Kennedy, Culver in their first year before Salem Academy dropped to 2A this past season. Presenting strong test as the second-spot in conference behind the presumed front-runner with the Crusaders.
The Trojans will be tough, as will Delphian and Gervais and the Pios looking to make a run in the league standings come playoff time.
“Just taking it point-by-point. First to five, first to ten, first to fifteen. We’ve been working together, communicating is huge for us and not getting down with one another and just playing the game we love,” Natalee Nielsen said.
Nielsen and Ayala returned from their 9-4 season this past Spring. Onahzay Pacheco, Aubree Elston and Lili Ayala are seniors as four of Sheridan’s 12 freshmen made the Varsity roster this Fall.
“They’re doing good, they’re really taking on the role and being leaders,” Nielsen said of the freshman.
The Spartans will host Colton Monday evening for their first game of the Fall 2021 season. First serve is scheduled for 5:30pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald