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Scappoose starts fast in high-energy volleyball match; Lions prevail in tight finish

PMG PHOTO: STEVE BRANDON - St. Helens players celebrate after defeating Scappoose 3-1 in a volleyball match at Scappoose.It was a rivalry match in every sense of the words when St. Helens and Scappoose met on the volleyball court Sept. 19 at Scappoose.

The Indians brought their 'A' game to win the first set 25-19.

The Lions spelled out a comeback, though, taking the next three sets 25-21, 25-12, 28-26.

But not before Scappoose fought to the end and nearly pulled out the fourth set, rallying from a 24-18 deficit straight straight points.

Through it all, a good-sized crowd led by student supporters from both schools kept the intensity and noise levels high.

The fourth set was 26-26 when St. Helens junior Savannah Moore landed a big kill from the middle and sophomore Karlee Webster then finished the night with kill off the set of junior Brea Paulson.

"It was pretty exciting," Moore said, face flush from the energy and emotions expended, of both the match and the ending.

"It was really tense," Paulson said.

As Scappoose coach Mark Sprenger noted, "volleyball is a game of runs," and the match had runs by both teams — and runs of energy.

"In the beginning, we were all together and focusing," said Indians senior Darci DeTroy. "The second set, we kind of lost it. We had a lot more energy than they did and wanted it more in the first set, but we went downhill from there.

"We really came back in the last set, though. It was hard to lose, but we played really hard."

The crowd had an impact, for both teams.

"I love the crowd, it gives us more motivation," DeTroy said.

As for the noise from the visiting St. Helens fans, "sometimes you just try to block that out," she said.

"It pushes you to do better when people are being that loud," Moore said of the Lions fans' support.

And for dealing with the home Indians fans, "you use that as motivation to get points," Moore said.

St. Helens senior libero Dessa Cooper got fired up as well.

"It was definitely a win we wanted," she said, "and it was really nice seeing all of our people come to cheer us on. It really gets us going.

"I feel like every time we play Scappoose, there's a whole different team on both sides. We all have so much energy because we all want to win so much.

"We knew (Scappoose) was going to come out with a lot of energy and that we'd have to come back and show them that we're here to play and we're not going anywhere."

The Lions swept both rivalry matches last year, the first with Scappoose up from Class 4A and now a fellow member of the 5A Northwest Oregon Conference. In the first meeting of 2019, Scappoose took the first set by the same 25-19 score, then dropped three sets. Scappoose won the first set in the second match, too, 25-22, before falling in four sets.

So what happened a week ago didn't throw the Lions for a loop, said St. Helens senior Izy Wallace.

"That's exactly what happened last year," she said. "We realized we just needed to come back and play out game, and get our passes to our setter instead of behind the 10-foot line."

Indians junior Samantha Scott did the pressure serving in the fourth set, when one mistake would have given the Lions match point.

"I feel like if we could have just taken the lead once there and had a chance to serve for the set and put some pressure on them, I think we win set four, and then we win set five," Sprenger said.

In the final Scappoose run, DeTroy added to her game-high kills total, which reached 22 (she hit .320, and added 16 digs, seven aces and three blocks.

Scott finished with 27 assists and four aces. Senior Sophi Hering had 17 digs. Senior Sophia Johnston-Phillips had five kills and 10 digs. Senior Angelina Seberger posted 10 digs. Freshman Dylan Mann had six kills and four blocks in trying to neutralize St. Helens slammer Moore.

"Everybody had their moments of glory," Sprenger said. "We set our big gun (DeTroy), and they set their big gun (Moore)."

Moore wound up with 13 kills. Webster had nine with 18 digs. Paulson notched 23 assists. Cooper had 14 digs. Senior Brynn Austin had four aces. Junior McKenna Miller had four kills.

The teams will meet one more time — Oct. 17 at St. Helens.

Scappoose dropped its Monday NWOC match to seventh-ranked La Salle Prep 3-0. The Indians also lost 3-2 at Parkrose on Wednesday.

St. Helens came back Monday with its fifth consecutive league victory, taking down Putnam 15-9 in the fifth set at St. Helens, before falling 3-0 on Wednesday at No. 1-ranked Wilsonville (9-0).

"A big win," Lions coach Tom Ray said of the Putnam match.

Moore and Webster each had 14 kills against the Kingsmen. Cooper and Wallace were adept with their passes (with ratings of 2.34 and 2.38, respectively). Junior Jean Gartman had three blocks. And Austin "willed the team to win in the fifth set," Ray said.

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