Lady Sailors head into final week

Mapleton senior Heather Wierichs gets a bump for the Lady Sailors. (Zeahna Young/Siuslaw News)

Crow d Mapleton: 25-14, 25-14, 25-9

Crow d Mapleton: 25-10, 25-16, 25-5

Tuesday (March 30), Mapleton volleyball hosted Crow for a match that began with the Lady Sailors honoring its three seniors, which included Briena Jensen, Emily Stevens and Heather Wierichs. The girls were supported by their families and loved ones, sharing their most memorable and cherished moments as volleyball players for the Sailors.

Mapleton put in an incredible effort in the match. However, an injury at the end of the first set put the Sailors at a major disadvantage that helped the Cougars came out with the win in three straight sets.

“I think we were thrown a lot of adversity today,” said coach Molly Dooley. “And I think that the girls played through it as best they could.”

In the first set, the Sailors were finding their footing on the court. They had some great serving from Jensen to push them along. Unfortunately, by the time the score had reached 13-20 with the Cougars ahead, Jensen took a fall, injuring her ankle and forcing her to be helped off of the court.

The referees called an Exceptional Substitution in order to allow gameplay to continue. Another issue for the Sailors was that they only had one sub to begin with, so losing a player meant they would have to finish that set and the remainder of the match with no subs.

Dooley discussed why losing Jensen early on in the match was particularly difficult that night.

“We don't end up with six players often, and both of the people that we've trained for setting — Summer [Flansberg] had gotten a concussion in the last game, so she was out, and [tonight] Briena got injured,” said Dooley. “So, none of the other players could really focus in on setting. Despite everything, they handled that well and kept playing.”

The Sailors kept pushing but ended up losing the first set 14-25.

In the second set, the girls adjusted as best they could to not having their usual setter.

“Some of them were doing new things that they’ve never done before,” Dooley said. “And for the first time in a game, that’s really tough.”

Wierichs had two aces in the set, which definitely helped the Sailors keep up. However, they struggled to gain momentum and finished the second set with another 14-25 loss.

In the third set, Stevens had an ace and a clutch dig. The girls kept battling but, with no subs, fatigue began to play a factor as the Cougars went on to win the match, 25-9.

Notably, freshman Kylee Carson had two kills for the evening, a personal best.

Mapleton next played Crow for a rematch on the road Thursday (April 1), with the Cougars once again winning in three sets.

Freshman Kylee Carson had 2 aces, junior Jahala Blake had 2 kills, and senior Emily Stevens had 1 block.

Mapleton’s final league game will be Tuesday (April 6) at home against Eddyville Charter, beginning at 6 p.m.