While it was a North Douglas (6-1) volleyball victory over Yoncalla (1-3) on Tuesday, both coaches were in agreement: they wanted more from their teams.
“Well, first of all, we need to clean up our game. We missed nine serves and had 17 team hitting errors. It’s hard to beat teams, it’s hard to get any momentum going when you have those kinds of errors,” said Warriors head coach Anne Campbell.
“Well, I think they held their own but we had some errors and we have to work on that,” said Eagles head coach Monet Sheffield on her squad.
Regardless of errors and mishaps, the Warriors walked away with a straight-set sweep (25-21, 25-18, 25-19) in their home-opener.
Leading the way for North Douglas was Arianna Helgren who finished the day with 14 kills. Teammate Abby Whipple, who is temporarily filling in the role of setter while Nicki Derrick works her way back from injury, had 22 assists and nine kills.
Showing their strength in their ability to attack at the net, the Warriors were relentless in rallies as the Eagles would stand firm in their defense, a strength of the team that has no one over 5-8 on the roster. Kaleigh Soto and Ali Van Loon finished with 26 and 23 digs respectively.
“It teaches us that we have to wear them down. I’ve been telling the girls…if you’re expecting your ball to hit the floor every time you go up and hit you’re going to be disappointed. But what you have to do is thinking you’re going to get a kill on the first one, you have to each attack and in the rally you’ve got to get stronger and stronger. And smarter and just outlast them,” said Campbell.
The first-set was close throughout and featured eight lead changes. After the Eagles took the lead at 18-16, North Douglas quickly answered as they went on a 9-3 run to take the set and remind Yoncalla they are worth their fifth-place ranking in state. Yoncalla continued to hang around early in the second set and again in the third but ultimately the North Douglas offense proved to be too much.
“I think we’re doing great, I really do. They are a smart team and they stick together and play together,” said Sheffield. “They don’t give up.”
Cassidy Bragg finished the game for Yoncalla with six kills and Kenzie Walton had five aces.
The Eagles continue their stretch of road games this week as they face New Hope Christian and Riddle tomorrow. This weekend the Warriors will travel to the Les Schwab Tournament in Reedsport.