To talk about Sky-Em volleyball league, it is essential to talk about the Sisters Outlaws.
The last time the Outlaws lost in regular season match to a Sky-Em opponent was when Cottage Grove beat them 3-2 on October 27, 2009. Last Tuesday in Cottage Grove, Sisters extended their league streak to a 76 as they defeated the Lions in straight sets (25-20, 25-19, 25-23). But it was not without a fight from Cottage Grove.
With the stands full of not only the usual parents and sporadic students, it was also filled with bright neon jerseys of youth volleyball players who play in the South Valley Athletics. Announced as the “future of Cottage Grove volleyball” the third through sixth graders brought in cheers for the home team and impromptu dance parties between each set as Bruno Mars and Miley Cyrus poured through the gym speakers.
In the start of the first set, both teams came out flat. As each team struggled to get their offense going, it was Sisters who was able to capitalize on Cottage Grove mistakes. Still stuck in a warmup mode, the Outlaws went up 12-2 and forced an early Lions timeout. The Outlaws continued to struggle to get going as Cottage Grove’s Reilly Kelty held serve and got the Lions back into striking distance down 15-10. Kelty ended the match with nine digs, seven kills and three blocks. Sisters then settled with trading points and closed out the set 25-20.
In the second game, things got close. After giving up the first three points, Cottage Grove battled back and cut the lead one at 7-8. Sisters quickly went on a 9-4 run and put the game away 25-19.
In the third game, the Lions came out firing and took their first lead of the entire match at 7-6 thanks in part to the precision serving of Cassidy Herbert that was hindering the Outlaws’ ability to get into their offense.
The game was back and forth with no team getting a lead of greater than four points throughout the set. Setter Lauren Witty, who had 20 assists in the match, was finding teammates and the Lions were locked in a close battle. Ultimately, Sisters was simply too much for Cottage Grove and they closed out the set 25-23 to take the match in straight sets.
Cottage Grove head coach Kendra Anderson declined to comment after the loss.