Scappoose volleyball defeats Hillsboro in straight sets, gears up for postseason push

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Scappoose junior libero Sophi Hering hits a serve against Hillsboro, Oct. 1, at Scappoose High. Better late than never.

After a slow start, in which the Scappoose volleyball team lost five of its first seven games, the Indians have won four of their last six and have scratched their way back to the middle of the Northwest Oregon Conference pack and again into contention for a spot in the state playoffs.

The home Indians made quick work of Hillsboro on Monday night, defeating the visiting Spartans in straight sets, 25-8, 25-17, 25-22, at Scappoose High.

Despite the win, Scappoose coach Mark Sprenger wasn't thrilled with his girls' performance and hopes they'll make the necessary adjustments to put together a rally good enough to get them to the postseason.

Sprenger cited one of his team's habitual problems as a hurdle to getting over that desired hump.

"I thought we played a pretty good first game, but they were struggling, so it's really hard to tell whether it was more us or them playing poorly," he said. "We need to be more consistent. We're making way too many of the same mistakes for this late in the season."

Scappoose dominated the first set and appeared on its way to doing the same in set 2, but Hillsboro pulled within 10-9, and trailed only 20-17 late before the Indians finished them off with a series of kills from junior outside hitter Darci DeTroy. Sprenger said the second — and ultimately the third— set as examples of his team's lack of focus for the duration of a match.

"We play well at times, but volleyball is a game that you have success through consistency, and we haven't been very consistent," Sprenger said. "But I told the girls tonight that if we want to make the playoffs we need to start now because we need to win the rest of our games, and it's going to be tough."

It was more of the same in that third set, with Hillsboro staying close and even taking a late lead, 21-20. But the Indians pulled it out in the end, relying heavily on DeTroy and fellow outside hitter Shaylan Smith, both offensively and defensively, creating and salvaging points when push came to shove at the net.

"They're my go-to hitters," Sprenger said. "They take a lot of swings, and I rely on them a lot to get point after point. Our setters feed them the ball exclusively. We try to mix it up a little, but they keep us in a lot of games."

Scappoose was a bit hampered due to an injury to four-year starting setter Charlotte Feige in the second set. Sprenger said the Indians were forced to tweak and use a series of different lineups, and put girls in unfamiliar positions. But he remained concerned by his team's lack of a killer instinct, something he said they need to develop to reach the postseason.

"I think after game 1, where we won 25-8, the girls took too many points off," Sprenger said. "Good teams that win 25-8, win the next two by the same margin. My girls let teams hang around, and we just can't do that."

Scappoose will play host to St. Helens on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 6:45 p.m.

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