Gervais Slows Upstart Santiam In Four Sets

By Jeremy McDonald

jeremymcdonald73@gmail.com

MILL CITY, Ore.–  The Santiam Volleyball have come a long way since their 0-7 season during the Spring short-season in 2021.  They snapped their 15-game losing streak last year and won four-games, they followed that up with an 8-8 start to the season this Fall following their split with Gervais and Regis Wednesday at Santiam High School. 

Building some momentum for the program as the Wolverines look for their first 10-win season since 2018 when they won 13 games.

“It’s been really good.  I think a lot of it was the coaching, we’ve had a lot more coaching this year and it really helped the girls out and we’re coming back strong,” Santiam’s Averie Peterson said.

The Wolverines opened the Tri-River Conference three-team round-robin Wednesday with Gervais who, after picking up two wins by night’s end pushed their win-total beyond ten wins for the first time since 2014 themselves as the Cougars picked up the first set win to open things up.

But Santiam had buckled down.  Settling down they rebounded and took the second set in the Cougars 25-17, 22-25, 25-21, 25-18 four-set victory, Santiam even jumped out to a 7-1 lead on Gervais to open the third set.  A hot-start that caused the Cougs Head Coach Molly McCargar to call timeout.

After winning four games the last two years, the Wolverines have won eight coming down the stretch of the 2022 season (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

“It was really good for us, we did a really good job talking out there and got a lot better on that.  We got more stuff to work on, but I think we’ll get there,” Peterson said. “Communication is key when it comes to Volleyball, which we did really well today (at).  So if we can keep it up, we have a chance.”

It was the second-time that the Gervais team had to have a heart-to-heart, having one in between the second and third sets after dropping the second to the Wolverines just amongst the players.  And both talks helped as the Cougars refocused, clawed back into the set and edged the Santiam squad at the end.  Creating momentum for the fourth set as they jumped out 24-14 to make sure that the Wolverines didn’t take the match to a decisive fifth set.

“We had to talk to each other and figure out what we needed to do when we got out there,” Gervais’ Addy McCargar said. “And I think we pulled through and we did what we said we were going to do.  We just communicated and fixed it…We were a mess at the beginning and had to talk to each other, communicate and we ended up pulling together.  We didn’t win that second set, but we came back, talked to each other and pulled through in the third set.

“We worked together pretty well (in the fourth set) and we all pushed through and played hard.”

The Cougars, who defeated Regis 25-16, 25-14, 25-6, host Gaston Saturday at 1pm in a non-league game.  Santiam, who defeated Regis 9-25,25-14, 25-14, 25-10 host Delphian Thursday.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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