Undefeated Gaston volleyball aiming high
It wasn't easy, but the undefeated Gaston volleyball team remained just that with a five-set victory over Northwest League rival Vernonia Tuesday night, Sept. 28, at Gaston High School.
At the tail-end of a six-matches-in-six-days stretch, the weary Greyhounds came back from a two-sets-to-one deficit to defeat the Loggers 25-20, 17-25, 15-25, 25-18, 15-12 in front of a raucous crowd at Gaston High.
With the win, Gaston improved to 12-0 overall and 10-0 in Northwest League action. Head coach Melody McMasters said that the girls have made it clear to her that they have very high expectations of themselves and the season as a whole, and so far the Greyhounds appear to be on track.
"The girls are playing really well together and are doing a great job on being consistent," McMasters said. "But we'll continue to fine-tune both our offense and defense in the coming weeks."
They lacked a little of that consistency versus Vernonia. McMasters said she attributed some of that to the officiating, some to Vernonia's level of play, and some simply to fatigue, but in the end was proud of the way her team overcame it all to come back to win the match.
"I thought the referee did a really good job of calling the game, and we haven't had that all season long, so we had to adjust," the coach said. "Plus, Vernonia has some great servers and some really strong outside hitters that made it tough on us, but in the end we still managed to make it happen, so I was proud of them."
The Greyhounds are led by senior blockers Grace Smith and Mackenzie Berger, along with outside hitter Maya Rosenberg and setter Lexi Fern, who McMasters said has done an incredible job setting-up her hitters to score.
"Lexi is doing a phenomenal job getting to the ball and giving her hitters some great sets," McMasters said. "In particular last Saturday."
Gaston played a tournament at North Clackamas Christian Sept. 25, beating both the host team and Days Creek over the weekend. McMasters said that in addition to Smith and Berger's excellent work at the net, much of the team's success was attributed to Madi Bentley, Cayden Henderson, and Anna Wismer's work in the back row, in addition to Rosenberg and Ally Lazott's service, who combined for 13 aces in the match against Days Creek.
The Greyhounds were scheduled to see formidable competition at a tournament Oct.2 at Western Christian, but the tournament was cancelled due to a COVID shutdown. McMasters was disappointed due to the level of competition slated for the event, but said they'll find other ways to prepare for what should be an exciting stretch run to what she and her team hopes will be a successful 2021 postseason.
"Anything we can do to get ready for the next step," she said when asked about ongoing preparations for the postseason. "This team has a lot of fight in them and I'm excited about what's to come."
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