Siuslaw d P. Hill:
25-17, 25-8, 13-25, 25-17
Sept. 8, 2018 — Thursday night’s non-league home volleyball win over Pleasant Hill was a dramatic one. Not because the match was hotly contested or a need for Siuslaw to rally — at least on the scoreboard.
The Lady Viking’s rally was an emotional one that came late in the match, made necessary by an unexpected injury sustained by junior Aylenne Vazquez that left team members, family and spectators shaken.
Leading up to it, the Lady Vikings had swept the first two sets definitively, 25-17, 25-8, before meeting some resistance from the visiting Lady Billies in the third set that seemed to take the wind out of the Lady Vikings’ sails.
After a bruising 13-25 loss that, for the most part, was the result of Siuslaw errors more than Pleasant Hill offense, the Lady Vikings were trailing 3-5 when Vazquez and senior Alyssa Richards collided mid-air while attempting to block a kill shot. When the two came down onto the hardwood, only Richards got up — and it quickly became apparent from Vazquez’s painful cries that something was very wrong.
“I just kept waiting for Aylenne to get up — but she didn’t,” said coach Jon Hornung. “It was scary.”
First responders from Western Lane Ambulance arrived and put Vazquez onto a special split backboard that allowed them to keep the Siuslaw junior completely immobilized and on her side during transport to Peace Harbor Hospital.
“I couldn’t even remember where we were in our rotation or even who had served last,” said Hornung. “That all seemed pretty unimportant at that moment.”
As Vazquez was taken away, Siuslaw players wiped away tears and stood in a huddle, arms draped over each other.
Siuslaw senior Falon Borgino offered a hug to Vazquez’s mother before joining the huddle as the game resumed.
“We just talked about how every point for the rest of the game was for Aylenne,” said Richards.
Despite that declaration, it took a while for the Lady Vikings to find their momentum. But once they did, they scored a lot for Vazquez.
Junior Mia Collins delivered the first point since early in the set, scoring a kill that drew loud cheers from a packed student section.
Senior Makenzie York followed with two more kills as Siuslaw tied the game at 9-9.
The Lady Viks never trailed again, with York scoring 8 more kills in the set and sophomore Lindsey Long serving three aces. Coupled with kills from Collins, kill blocks from sophomore Delanie Foglio and great defense from freshman libero Hayden Muller, Siuslaw went on to win the set — and the match — 25-17.
Afterward, students and family gathered around players for the alma mater as the excitement of the win faded quickly as concern for Vazquez returned.
“It was very hard not to leave for the hospital, but I am going there now,” said Hornung.
Fortunately, the news on Vazquez was good. The junior was treated and released later that evening, with no additional care needed.
The Lady Vikings will be on the road Tuesday for the start of the final non-league match of the season, at Sutherlin, beginning at 6:30p.m.
Thursday, Siuslaw opens the Sky-Em League season at home against Cottage Grove, beginning at 6:30 p.m.