Bu Jeremy McDonald
SILVERTON, Ore.– Silverton returns the bulk of their 8-5 Spring season, only graduating two seniors from that squad entering their Fall season this year. It was just a matter of gelling and meshing the talent together.
Yes, the brief quarantine tossed a speed bump in it, having five practices before their first game last Thursday (a sweep over Corvallis). But the Foxes made do as they started the season 3-1 following the first of two doubleheaders Thursday evening when they hosted South Albany and Dallas.
“They want to work hard, they want to win and they are putting in the work. They’re just good kids,” Head Coach Kate O’Connor said. “We have such amazing character and versatility. I keep telling them, ‘You can play any position anywhere’…our lineup is crazy this year, you’re playing three different hitting positions. Or you might be in one place, one set or another place, another set. So they’re really flexible.”
Flexibility was crucial Thursday as they’re slowly bringing kids back to the line-up. Their character and mental game were challenged in the opening game against the Redhawks where they won 25-19, 25-21, 25-19.
The Foxes had to close out a second-set South Albany charge and had to rally from 8-1 down to close out the set on a 24-11 run for their second victory of the season before having a game to rest before facing the Dragons in the nightcap.
“It was really exciting to see how we can fight back and get that lead. In the early season, getting that lead and practicing on keeping it, building on it and not letting them creep back in,” Alexis Haury said.
“At this point we’re just focusing on mental toughness which I think that third set showed a little bit,’ O’Connor adds. “We were saying ‘you have to focus on one-point at a time’. It’s ‘one-game-at-a-time. One week at a time’ and we’re pretty good at compartmentalizing it seems like. We’re working on the mental toughness and getting the repetition in the gym now that we’re back.”
Silverton picked up their third sweep of the year in the nightcap against Dallas, sweeping the Dragons 25-22, 25-9, 25-21 as the Foxes head to the South Eugene Tournament Saturday. Silverton (3-1, 3-1 Mid-Willamette Conference) returns to MWC play Tuesday when they travel to Lebanon.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald