By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– This was a taste of what is to come here in a few weeks for the Cascade and Silverton Volleyball teams when the postseason comes around. And the two Top-5 teams featured in their respective classifications, the Foxes in 5A and the Cougars in 4A, looked forward to such a challenge as it went the distance Saturday morning in Cascade High School.
“It was really good because we really needed to prepare for Crescent Valley, we really needed to prepare for playoffs. We started off a little slow, but I thought we picked it up,” said Silverton’s Maddie Bailey.
“We all knew that it was going to be a big game and we all were like ‘we’re got to do this’ and all of this stuff. I thought we competed really well with them and we could beat them, we just need to clean up a few of our minor errors. I think they’re a really good team and we have a really good shot,” adds Cascade’s Kamyrn Sande.
Each set of Silverton’s 23-25, 25-15, 15-25, 25-17, 15-12 victory quite literally went back-and-forth. Cascade, Foxes, Cougars, Silverton to open the match with both teams tied at nine going into the home stretch of the fifth set. Setting up like a wild finish coming down to the finish line of the non-league match.
It wasn’t the first time that the Foxes took on a strong team from the Santiam Canyon, having played Kennedy in 2019 and seeing the eventual 2A State Champions in the Trojans taking down Silverton in five sets.
“We know we can do it, we just need to come out with the most energy and the most fight every single time. We need to play the same game every single time,” Bailey said. “(Saturday) was good for us, especially mentally because I think we need to know that and we need to have a little bit of pride and just keep kicking butt.”
The Foxes continued to work, getting to 15 even though Cascade held strong and pressured Silverton into making the right plays at the right time with the Foxes extending their winning streak to eight. All while snapping the Cougars winning streak at six with Sweet Home coming up next.
But all-and-all, this game felt like a playoff game that came at the right time with the regular season coming to a close pretty quickly.
“We had to play to compete and play at our highest level and to play to their level and don’t take anyone for granted. It felt like a playoff game, it really did and we kept telling ourselves, ‘pretend that this is a State Championship’ because that’s how competitive they’re going to be when we get there,” Sande said.
The Foxes are at Corvallis Tuesday before heading back home for West Albany on Thursday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald