By Jeremy Mcdonald
SALEM, Ore.– The NPJ 16 National team found themselves down 20-13 to the Capital City Elite 16-1 Elite squad. The National team was coming off of their 3-0 pool play performance and were up one set to none of the best-of-three match following their 25-9 first set victory at the old The Hoop location Sunday afternoon.
But slowly, the NPJ 16 National squad mounted a comeback. Eventually tying the set at 23 and taking the set 25-23 thanks in part to their 12-3 run to finish off the match strongly with the squad finishing 4-0 on the day in Power League play.
“This team, we know how to fight. We all had the fire and wanted it so badly,” said McNary’s Taylor Detrant. “Colton (Naill) always says ‘Win the Serve and Serve-receive game’, so as long as we’re getting the first contacts, I’m confident that we can put it away. As long as we’re serving, getting back, tracking in our system, we can win any game.”
Naill, Multnomah University’s Head Volleyball Coach, coaches the 16 National team. The coach has provided a new look and a high-standard for the squad as his players are putting in the work during the off-season of their respective school seasons. Settling the team down when they needed it the most in their final set of the day.
“It’s awesome. He’s seriously the best coach ever and he’s always trying to help out. He’s always getting on us when we need to do better because he understands the game, he understands how the competition is for us at this age,” Cascade’s Jayden Daviscourt said of Naill. “We go and see so many different teams from so many different places that we gain so much knowledge and our coaches are so amazing and they help us with so much that it helps with our High School game to be at the best level that it can be.”
But through the chaos, they had some fun considering they’ve been at the facility since 8am. From sideline celebrations during their final pool play game, a two-set sweep of the OJVA 16-2 team to talking Naill into dunking a volleyball in between their final pool play game and their lone bracket game of the day Sunday.
All good team-bonding as they head back to practice and future competition.
“It was so fun. Tournaments like this are team bonding things and we all come together as a team,” laughed Detrant.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald