A battle of top 10 teams took place over the past week between fourth-ranked North Douglas and seventh-ranked Days Creek. In the past five matchups with the Wolves from Days Creek, North Douglas has a 1-4 record. A few games into the season North Douglas had to pause volleyball activity because of COVID-19 contact tracing but the Warriors are looking sharp early on this season, only losing one set in their first four games.
The first set started out tight with a 6-4 lead for Days Creek but after serving the ball out of bounds North Douglas would capitalize and rolled right into a strong scoring streak.
The Warriors captured the lead at 7-6 in the first set after a big hit from Halli Vaughn followed by well-placed serves from Asia Ward to push the lead to 9-6. North Douglas continued to rattle off points forcing Days Creek to call a timeout with the Warriors leading 13-8 in the first set.
North Douglas’ momentum could not be stopped with the timeout as they came back steamrolling the Wolves with great play after great play and overwhelming Days Creek to close out the set 25-12.
Days Creek would come out swinging in the second set jumping out to another early lead at 5-3 and after a couple serving mistakes by North Douglas the Wolves’ lead would grow to 7-5.
The Warriors would string some points together and after an ace from Samantha MacDowell along with a missed serve from Days Creek, North Douglas took the lead at 13-12.
After not being able to completely pull away from each other the second set was a real back and forth until Halli Vaughn for North Douglas ripped off a few aces tipping the scales back to the Warriors with a lead of 19-16. Brooke McHaffie made a huge block in the middle that was followed by a crushing outside hit from Cydni Dill pushing the Warriors lead to 22-16. Cydni Dill made another big play to help close out the second set for the Warriors 25-17.
North Douglas came out hot in the third set jumping out to a huge 8-1 sparked by a serving run from Samantha MacDowell forcing Days Creek to call their first timeout. The Warriors looked like they were going to run away with the third set easily, but Days Creek would not go away quietly. Brooke McHaffie and Cydni Dill had back-to-back scoring plays pushing the lead for North Douglas to 17-9.
“I think the fatigue got to us in the third set and when we start to get tired, we start shooting ourselves in the foot and making mistakes,” said North Douglas coach Emily Reed.
Days Creek would take advantage of the mistakes North Douglas made and cut the Warriors lead to only five at 19-14 leading to North Douglas calling a timeout.
Days Creek would continue to battle back and tied up the third set at 23. Brooke McHaffie had a well-placed hit in the back corner giving the lead back to North Douglas at 24-23 with an opportunity to close it out. Cydni Dill followed her teammate with another hit that Days Creek couldn’t handle giving the Warriors the win in the third set 25-23.
“It sure gave us a lot of confidence because it was a big win after a 10-day COVID pause. We had one day of practice and then the game came up. I was a little worried about our energy, but I felt like we still played tough, we still battled, the third set was close, we were losing at one point. And the girls never gave up and battled through even though they were really fatigued. really tired, not in full shape. And didn’t they didn’t let that be a factor.”
North Douglas will have to wait until Oct. 14 to attempt a season sweep against Days Creek at their home stadium. The Warriors will have to travel a lot this week as they will be going on the road to face Umpqua Valley Christin on Sept. 23 and travel to Toledo on Sept. 25 to face Toledo and Alsea in tournament play.
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