With 23 days remaining in the regular season, things are heating up and starting to become intense. There’s a limited amount of playoff spots available, meaning that seeding and at large bids are becoming harder and harder to obtain. With us being at around the mid-season point of the season, here are the volleyball headliners from Week 6 of the season:
The Rise Of Siuslaw
Here come the Vikings! A team largely not talked about on the state level this season, Siuslaw wants to enter the chatter and have given us plenty to discover about them at that. Their week started with a dub over Elmira, setting up a showdown with Junction City on Thursday, which resulted in a 3-1 dub for the Vikings and position to fight for the Sky Em League title this season. After the impressive win, they went to the Junction City Tournament on Saturday and captured it, taking out Klamath Union and JC on their way to the tournament title. In the title game, they dropped the first set then exploded to a 25-5 win to force a third set duel, clinching the title 15-12 in the final set and taking the tournament. Its been a noteworthy week that insert themselves into the conference title talk, with a looming showdown against conference leader Cottage Grove coming on Tuesday.
Churchill Makes Some Noise
The Midwestern League just got much more interesting and North Bend is no longer undefeated! Just when we thought the Bulldogs were cruising to a conference title, the Lancers made it clear that they want a say in it. Churchill went down to the coast and took out undefeated North Bend 3-1, seizing a half game lead in the Midwestern League standings and avenging their early season sweep to North Bend. This team is a solid 5A playoff team, anchored by Stella Scott, Elizabeth Gansen, and Amelia Gansen. Sadie Scott also provides great defensive support, rounding out a solid foundation that will carry Churchill into the state playoffs in nice shape as long as they take care of business down the stretch.
Gaston’s Hunt For A 2A Title
With a three game lead in the Northwest League and a sweep over Vernonia, there’s little to nothing standing in the way of the Greyhounds to the league title. However, Gaston’s has much higher expectations of winning a state title in 2021, which is a whole other task in itself. Their big middle and senior Mackenzie Berger will be their workhorse carrying them to success, as her 6’3″ frame and kill power make her a nightmare for opponents to block and control. Lexi Fern is responsible for dishing out assists, drilling them with great precision to her outside compliments led by Ally Lazott. Currently ranked #1 by OSAA and #2 by Elite Oregon Girls, the Greyhounds looked off last week with five set thrillers against Vernonia and Portland Christian, but should look much better after a rested weekend in their match with Nestucca on Tuesday. They have the talent, but is it enough? We’ll see in the state playoffs!
Welcome To The Show Kid!
Rounding out the headliners this week are 6A newcomer Nelson Hawks, who currently lead the Mt. Hood Conference by half a game over Central Catholic with a Monday showdown looming in Portland with the Rams. Sitting firmly in the playoff picture, the Hawks are destined for a playoff spot in their inaugural season. They boast consistent height across the board in Ava Sciulli, Kaylie Christopher, Maddy Abraham, and Morgan Armitage, all of whom clock in at 5’10 or 5’11 and fill in at the middle/outside positions for the Hawks. Couple this together with the experience in libero Avery Bergers and setter Ellie Wallace, not forgetting their 6’0”, D-1 prospect Kalista Lukovich, the Hawks might turn some heads in the state playoffs this season, even potentially hosting a playoff game if they can finish within the Top 16 in seeding.
Footnote: Header image is by Miles Vance at the Clackamas Review!