By Jeremy McDonald
AMITY, Ore.– Amity Volleyball have found themselves one win away from one of the Automatic Bids to the 3A State Playoffs following their 25-9, 25-20, 25-8 victory over Blanchet Catholic Monday night.
In a unique set-up, having to make-up their final league game back on Saturday against the PacWest Conference champions in Scio, the Warriors now have to turn-and-burn Tuesday as they travel to Yamhill-Carlton for the second-seed out of league. Adjusting to the crazy year that has been.
“We’ve adapted. The second time we played Blanchet we were down six players, we had to pull Marti (Silacci) from the bench to play with us because we had five varsity players. That was a huge step-up for us because our team was on,” Amity’s Haley Vanderzanden said. “We’ve had concussions and had other absences. It’s been a tough year; I know for everyone. Everyone has shut down from one-point to another, so just as a league in general to all be playing for a state playoff (spot) is a huge place to be.”
Vanderzanden and the Warriors pulled away from the Cavaliers in the first set. Scoring 14 of the set’s final 16 points after Blanchet had the match within a 11-7 deficit early in the set.
For Blanchet, with a young squad with inexperience at the start of the year, answered the bell in the second set. Hanging around throughout the set, leading 5-2 at one point and were seemingly one rally from stealing a set from Amity.
“It was awesome, especially for our last game it was nice to see us come together as a team. After that first set, comeback,” the Cavs Brookyln Buchheit said. “It showed how hard we can work when we fight back.”
“It was an eye-opener for sure. We knew Blanchet wanted this game as much as we did, they showed it a lot. Their outsides hit that outside cross and we saw all the holes that they saw and we were able to adjust quicker and I’m really proud because we’ve been working really hard on that,” adds Vanderzanden.
Blanchet Catholic finished the season 4-12 overall and 2-6 in the PacWest Conference.
Amity avoided what happened on Saturday when Scio rallied from two sets down to win in five, finishing off the sweep in the third set as they now prepare for the trip up to Yamhill-Carlton Tuesday night.
“We’re fired up. It’s been a tough year. We’ve had some players in-and-out and we’re ready. We’re ready to come out strong and we’re finally at full-force now. We’ve seen YC twice now and see what they can do…and we’re ready to level the playing field, we’re ready,” Vanderzanden said.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald