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A dozen sets at Hillsboro tourney provide experience for Scappoose High team

PMG PHOTO: JIM BESEDA - Seniors Sophi Hering (left) and Angelina Seberger set up to make a play for the Scappoose High volleyball team. Plain and simple, there is no substitute for game experience.

With little experience, the Scappoose High volleyball team is going through the sometimes-painful grind of learning at the varsity level on the fly.

At the Hillsboro Tournament last weekend, the Indians played 12 sets, six of which counted toward the Oregon School Activities Association schedule and will go a long way toward speeding up its steep learning curve.

Scappoose (1-3 overall, 0-2 in league through Wednesday) won its first match of the year, taking down Northwest Oregon Conference counterpart Hillsboro, 25-12, 25-17, 15-13. The Indians also lost 2-1 to The Dalles at the Hilhi tourney.

Indians coach Mark Sprenger said he thought his squad would be "a little further ahead" of where it is in terms of progression. Setting, passing and hitting all need to improve early in the year.

But Sprenger doesn't suit up varsity players just to sit them on the bench. There have been flashes for sure, and it's just a matter of consistency, Sprenger said, and that comes with more matches, more repetitions.

"Once we get a few more games under our belts, I think we'll be better off," Sprenger said. "It's a matter of seeing the speed of the game. It's hard to practice that when you have players who don't know what that looks like yet. That's the tough part of teaching a young team.

"We just have to continue to get better week to week. We have to prepare a little differently than teams with more experience, but we'll get better every game."

Sprenger said he was proud of how the Indians fought back and took the third set against Hillsboro and how they rallied from an early deficit to take a commanding lead down the stretch in the first set.

"That was a team win more than an individual win," Sprenger said. "We're learning how to finish, how to catch up. These are things they have to experience at this level. It was a good weekend for us."

Senior hitter Darci DeTroy has had to take on a few different roles and do a little more setting than normal. The all-league standout served well in the jamboree and displayed her versatility as well as her senior leadership capabilities.

"She's a team player all the way," Sprenger said. "We switch sides (in between games), and I'm putting in lineups, and she's very encouraging with the players. She gives them tips and things to get better."

Senior Sophi Hering is getting up to speed and handling the adjustment to full-time setter well, Sprenger said.

Scappoose lost 3-0 at home against Wilsonville on Tuesday and was slated to play host to Hillsboro on Thursday. Against Wilsonville, DeTroy had seven of the Indians' eight aces and a team-high five kills. Set scores were 23-14, 25-11, 25-22.

Over the next week, Scappoose will travel to Milwaukie on Tuesday and host crosstown rival St. Helens on Thursday, Sept. 19, both matches at 6:45 p.m.

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