By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It was a continuation of their summer league battles as they met in the middle of their non-league slate this Fall.
Salem Academy were coming off two tough battles with Catlin Gabel and Horizon Christian last week, Scio entered on a three-game winning streak. The Loggers had taken set one of the Crusaders 22-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-19 victory and had made it difficult for Salem Academy over the course of the match to get into a groove.
In the second set in particular, the Crusaders couldn’t quite shake Scio. Jumping out to leads of 10-5 and 19-15, only to see the Loggers reel them in to take a 14-13 lead and tie the second set at 20-all.
“It was great, our team is really great at being up with motivation and keeping the momentum up. Even when we make mistakes, just to cheer and shake it off, I know me and everyone on our team has a really strong mental mindset. They really want to win as much as I do or anyone else does,” Scio’s Makenna Ramsay said. “It’s definitely one of our stronger points. We can stay on top of people and have our motivation.”
With the targets on their backs as a favorite in the PacWest and ranked fourth in the Preseason Coaches Poll by the OSAA last week in 2A, the early season test going into a league test against a scrappy Sheridan team next Thursday will go a long way.
“(Head Coach Melissa Holman) wanted us to have super hard competition for league, that’s super good for us. Not every game is going to be super easy and if you don’t have that competition, then you’re not setting yourself up good for the season,” the Crusaders Annabelle Brawley said. “Just have those games and learn to measure yourself against each other. Whose balls are whose and just running with each other is big.”
Salem Academy picked up their first win of the season Tuesday with a sweep of Delphian to open Tri-River Conference-play.
For Scio, who was ranked 11th in the 3A Preseason Coaches rankings, they tried to duplicate the successes from the opening two sets over the course of the final two sets. The runs were there, but critical mistakes dictated the pace of the third and fourth sets. Separating the two teams in the heated battle of war with the Loggers looking to continue to make the push for the 3A playoffs this season.
“I think that we’re ready for it and I really think we can do it if we can keep having games like this and making us aware of our mistakes and where we’re lacking. We’re building every practice, every game makes us build and bond together to become a better team,” Ramsay said.
Scio (3-2) will host Jefferson (11am) and Sheridan (2pm) for a three-way round-robin Saturday in Scio.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald