By Jeremy McDonald
DAYTON, Ore.– After a long week of practice, the Dayton Varsity Volleyball team has taken a step back and aided the future of the Pirates Program Saturday morning with a free Volleyball Clinic at Dayton High School.
Going through the three-hour clinic Saturday, the girls were loose and having fun with the younger girls knowing that the real work is about to begin Thursday at Santiam High School and at Warrenton High School on Saturday.
“They just love teaching the younger girls what it’s like to really be a Dayton Pirate Volleyball player,” Head Coach Megan Webster said.
“I love being able to help the younger kids and just further their love for Volleyball,” adds Ava Hargett.
For Dayton, the squad graduated one senior from their 6-9 team and Hargett is one of the two seniors on the roster for this upcoming season as the Pirates hope that last years success wasn’t a one-year thing and that they’re slowly building for the better. Finishing 2-2 after a 1-6 mid-season stretch.
“Last year we really tried and we worked really, really hard and we came close with the older teams. But we were still a young team, so this year being older I think we should do really well this year.” Hargett said about going into her senior year. “I’ve been really talkative, I’ve been cheering and cheering everyone on and that’s how I wanted to leave my mark is just being able to cheer for my team. No matter if I’m on the court or off the court. Walking in the hallway is just making sure that when I leave this school that we are unified and that we are a school.”
Webster is hopefully that they can keep progressing. Over the past three years prior to last season’s six-win season the program had won five games in the previous three season and the goal is to get back on the map considering they reached the playoffs four of five years between 2013 and 2017
And with them joining a league that resembles almost that of the old West Valley League with Santiam Christian, Amity, Taft and Sheridan with the new league re-alignments, mixed in the competition from Scio and Jefferson, Webster has set the bar-high. And the third-year Pirates coach admits that challenges are there with the league. The Eagles are senior heavy, the Loggers and Warriors will be tough with Dayton looking to live up to the high-standard that Webster has set for the squad this season.
“Our goal is to take the league championship and I think we have the potential. For how conchisvise our team is, and these girls have been playing together….some of these girls have been playing together since the third-grade and I think we have a good shot,” Webster said. “The challenging teams are always going to be Santiam Christian, Scio, Amity, but we’re right up there with them. We can compete with them.”
The Pirates open PacWest Conference play September 7 at Scio High School with Dayton entering the first week of games this upcoming week.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald