Sept. 4, 2019 — The Siuslaw Vikings volleyball team took command of the court last Friday as they played host to Bandon and Douglas during a non-league jamboree, erasing any doubts set by last week’s narrow 2-point loss to North Bend by sweeping the Tigers and Trojans in 3-0 victories.
The first game, against Bandon, “started out strong, and we pretty much dominated the entire match. It’s exactly what we expected to see,” said Siuslaw coach Jon Hornung.
The takeaway from last week’s loss to North Bend was a simple one. “We went back to our defense and focused on the fundamentals. Less flashy stuff and more focus on passing, staying on our defense and just playing our game — and it worked,” said Hornung. “We hit really well, our passing was great, our serving was solid.”
In the match with Bandon, the Viks missed just five serves, which Hornung said was still more than he would have liked, “But we were consistent, went back to the service line and weren’t giving points away like we were at North Bend.”
Hornung said the team focused on being smart with their plays.
“When we were at North Bend, we were getting sets that weren’t at the net — so, girls were trying to kill the ball when they really should have been just trying to keep them in play,” said Hornung, who added that against the Tigers, the team kept the ball in play and the pressure.
Mia Collins had 12 kills with 20 sets, hitting “an unreal percentage of 60 percent,” Hornung said. Kya Blake also had a big game with 9 kills on 17 sets, hitting over 50 percent.
“You could tell that Kya took that to heart and played awesome,” Hornung said.
Defensively, libero Hayden Muller had five digs and Lindsey Long had 4.
Later in the tourney, 3-A team Douglas was a bigger challenge for the Vikings, particularly out of the gate.
“We started out on shaky ground,” Hornung said. “They were one of the first teams that had a really big middle hitter. So, they had one girl who was taller than anyone on our team except for Mia.”
Hornung placed Delaney Foglio as a middle hitter to match up Douglas’ big hitter and effectively shut down Douglas early in the first set.
“That’s what we want to see, because once you start shutting someone down, they start changing their game — and that’s when we start taking it to them,” said Hornung. “Then we just rolled the rest of the way.”
The Vikings won 3-0, with only three service errors in the entire match. Muller contributed 14 digs and Long added 10. Collins had 9 kills and Blake had 7.
“We’re pretty hard on the girls,” Hornung said. “We’re a good team, but we could be great. We’re really harping on these girls to focus on the fundamentals and play smart because when this team plays strong — when they’re on — they’re unstoppable.”
The team has two weeks of play before the tough 4-A Sky-Em League season begins on Sept. 19, at Cottage Grove.
“We play Cottage Grove, then Marist, then Marshfield,” Hornung said. “All three teams are ranked in the top 10 in the state. It’s a tough way to start the league.”
But Hornung is confident in his team.
“When Mia is acing teams on the court, just crushing balls, we start rolling, our defense is solid, our blocking is good, our setting is great” Hornung said. “It’s tough to beat us. The only people who can beat us our ourselves.”