C. Grove d Siuslaw:
21-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-10, 15-10
Sept. 21, 2019 — It was another close loss for the Siuslaw volleyball team Thursday night as the Vikings lost a five-set match to the Cottage Grove Lions during the Sky-Em League opener. But despite the loss, the team is nowhere near discouraged.
“This was nothing to hang our heads about,” Viks head coach Jonathan Hornung said. “We just kept swinging. We played hard and forced them to be us. In other games, there were times when we got tired or just got psychologically beat. But in this game, we played hard to the last point.”
The Viks knew it was going to be a battle going in. Cottage Grove is ranked as one of the best teams in the league, being the runner up the year prior after a 9-1 league record.
And then there’s the height.
“Three of their girls were listed at six feet or taller, but we still got four stuffs,” said Horning, adding that the team maintained a heavy focus on defense throughout the game.
The match was grueling, with the Viks trailing from the beginning.
“But they had the belief that they could do it,” said Hornung, and the Viks fought back for dramatic 25-21 win to open the match.
The second set was equally tough, with the Lions eeking out a 25-21 win. The Viks answered back with a 25-19 win in the third set.
“The fourth set, we came out flat,” Hornung said, with the Lions dominating for a 10-25 to once again even the match at 2-2 and force a decisive fifth set.
Though the Viks kept things closer during a tight game, Cottage Grove managed to secure a narrow win, 15-10.
The lesson of the game for Honung wasn’t that they lost, but that the young team is ready for the season.
“If you’re going to lose, you go downplaying hard, and we did that,” said Hornung. “It was fun to watch because both teams battled. After that game, we know that if we keep playing at that level, we’ll take games. We can hang with any team.”
Mia Collins led scoring with 17 kills, followed by Kya Black with 5, 4 kills each from Elissa Hurley and Desi Tupua, 3 points from Zoe Alberty, 2 points from Hailee Outlaw and a kill from Hayden Muller.
From the service line, Tupua had 8 aces with Alberty and Blake serving up 3 aces each.
Defensively, Muller had 20 digs for the Viks, along with 9 for Mia Collins, 8 for Lindsey Long, 7 from Alberty, 6 from Blake and 3 from Tupua.
The Viks are competing today at the Sisters Tournament and will return to Glenn Butler Court Tuesday night to host Marist, beginning at 6:30 p.m.