By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The Chemeketa Volleyball team pushed a darn good Lane team to the brink of five sets Wednesday night at Chemeketa Community College, with the Titans taking the match 25-10, 20-25, 25-19, 26-24 to open NWAC South Region play.
And the Storm slowly started to roll in the second set, battling back-and-forth with Lane and couldn’t get more than a point ahead until Brooklyn Worst’s (South Salem) kill that made it 14-12 handed Chemeketa their largest leading margin up to that point and Emma Hall (Sandy) pushing the lead to 15-12. Forcing Lane to use a timeout to try to slow the Storm rally.
McKay-grad Sarah Cortes points to a chance in line-up that helped the Storm change the tide of the game as the lead reached four up 17-13 before the Titans rallied back into the set.
“When we came in from the first set we had a switch-up from the first set and we just played volleyball, we said ‘let’s just have fun and let’s do it. Our coach said, ‘we need to step it up’ and we did,” Cortes said. “We were able to raise up as a team and help with our fans. It was amazing, whether I was on the court or off the court, it was great to be playing together instead of individuals.”
With Lane tying the set up at 19, Chemeketa refocused and began to pull away to take the second set 25-20.
“It was a great motivator because Lane is a great team and we respect them for how good they are and all we could do is go up from here,” Worst said, who contributed five kills for the Storm.
There were hiccups along the way and Lane found ways to take advantage of it. In the third set for example, the Titans turned a back-and-forth start to the set with the score tied at nine and quickly turned it into a 19-12 lead. A Chemeketa timeout helped settle the squad down as they made a late set rally while building momentum for the fourth set.
Consistency will be key moving forward as the squad will look to continue to play to their potential.
“It’s a learning experience,” said Central’s Katie Farley, who had six kills for Chemeketa. “We definitely got better with our blocking opportunities. In the first set their middles are really quick, so we learned how to get a block up on them in the middle. I’m really proud of how we played, especially for our first game and got all the nerves out.”
The Storm continued to battle with leads of 12-8 and 19-15 during the fourth set. Lane tied it at 19 before Chemeketa got the set to set-point up 24-21 before the Titans stunned the Storm by scoring the next six points to seal the four-set victory to open league play. But overall, it was one of those matches that has Chemeketa excited to see how the rest of the season will go.
“Sometimes they were down and they were making the mistakes, we rose up and we were able to put up one-and-one and play as a unit,” Cortes said of the match. “It’s so amazing how many girls can come together and literally play as a team. We’re going to see success, this is just the opener and we’ll see what (Head Coach) Doyle (Tracy) does with the line-up. Either way we’re going to succeed and we’re going to crush it.”
The Storm will head to Albany Saturday to play Linn-Benton Community College at 2pm. The next Chemeketa home game will be September 28 against Umpqua Community College at 6pm.
Stayton’s Carley Lederer had eight kills and South Eugene’s Jenna Glenzel had 28 assist in the game for the Storm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald