By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– The St. Paul Volleyball team had to adjust without Frankie Lear, who was out not feeling well, as they return to Casco League play Monday evening at Crosshill Christian School. But nonetheless, the Buckaroos stepped up to the occasion and set the tone in the opening two sets of their 25-9, 25-9, 25-22 sweep of the Eagles to improve to 12-0 on the year and extend their set-won streak to 13 in the process.
“We were definitely hurting in the back row, we were missing Frankie. She’s one of our better passers in the back…(but) it felt good, we got really strong players on our team so it’s nothing to worry about. Coming off a win from this weekend and heading into Damascus (Christian) this upcoming weekend, we’re excited and seeing some competition down in Arizona,” Halsie Hempfling said.
The Bucks are eyeing another deep run at the 1A title this Fall after finishing second in the 1A State Finals to North Douglas to set up their strong start to this season with the targets on their backs once more. And boy did Crosshill Christian didn’t make this sweep easy as both teams entered the league game undefeated with the Eagles of Crosshill at 3-0 and the Buckaroos sitting at 4-0 in league.
Coming out of their huddle to start the third set, the Eagles gave St. Paul everything that had left in the tank. Hanging around the first half of the match before eventually taking a 16-14 lead and even lead 18-16 coming down the stretch of the match. Crosshill Christian were talking about not giving in and not giving up knowing the Buckaroos were just another tough test, like Trinity Lutheran and Days Creek were leading into this match and Tuesday’s match with Perrydale.
“Our big thing has been staying positive with everything we do and having fun on the court. It’s nice having that experience of playing harder teams, it’s nice to get hard hits and hard serves and figure it out from there,” Crosshill Christian’s Emma Clark said going into their game with the Pirates. “(We’re) just hoping to carry the momentum over that we ended with today and start that tomorrow and we’ll see how that goes.”
St. Paul will head to Brooks Tuesday to play Willamette Valley Christian before they host the Eagles and Willamina this Saturday in St. Paul as they hope to get a few more opportunities to improve before Saturday’s doubleheader of games.
“I think we’re going to use it to get back into the swing of things before we hit Damascus. Us and Damascus go-back-and-forth, so that’ll be pretty exciting and espically bringing in some 2A competition (in Willamina),” Hempfling said.
The Bucks and Warriors start at 6pm while the Eagles road game at Perrydale also will start at 6pm Tuesday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald