Sherwood squad is off and rolling again
SHERWOOD — On Oct. 7, the Sherwood High School volleyball team saw its five-match Pacific Conference winning streak come to an end with a loss at McMinnville.
Well, the Lady Bowmen didn't waste any time in starting up what they hope is a new conference winning streak — and they did so in dominating fashion.
Sherwood, in its first match since the setback at McMinnville, powered its way to a 25-17, 25-14, 25-10 victory over Forest Grove in a Pacific Conference contest played Wednesday, Oct. 9 at Sherwood High School.
"It was good," Sherwood senior setter Allison Fiarito said after the victory. "It was really fun, and it was a good comeback game for us, because we've been down for a little bit."
"It was really important to get some momentum going again, because momentum really carries us on," Sherwood senior outside hitter Julia Leitzinger said. "So this will probably help us carry on to next week, and hopefully, we'll finish of league with another winning streak."
With the loss, Forest Grove moved to 1-7 in conference matches (5-12 overall), putting the Vikings in seventh place in the conference standings.
Sherwood improved to 6-3 in conference play (12-7 overall), putting the Lady Bowmen in third place in the standings.
"It was good," Leitzinger said of the win. "We started a little slow, but we picked it up. The energy was a lot better, and it was a lot of fun to watch."
"We really needed this, for sure," Fiarito said. "Hopefully, we can keep winning and going toward the top."
The Lady Bowmen got off to a bit of a slow start in Wednesday's match. Following three straight ace serves by Forest Grove senior Ellie Kintz, the Viking held an 11-10 lead in the first set of the match.
But that's when Sherwood took over.
With the score tied at 13-13, and with Sherwood senior Evan Parent Korsness serving, the Lady Bowmen scored eight straight points to open up a 21-13 advantage. Leitzinger had a kill and a block during the scoring spree, senior libero Piper Harrop added a back-row kill and Parent Korsness had a pair of aces.
From there, and ace by Leitzinger and a kill by sophomore Gianna Friendly, off a set by sophomore Alyssa Kapuniai-Ryan, helped the Lady Bowmen close out the 25-17 first-set win.
Forest Grove, getting a pair of blocks by junior Marisa Oberheiman, jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead to start the second set. But, again, Sherwood came roaring back.
With the Vikings leading 3-1, and with Fiarito serving, the Lady Bowmen scored eight straight points to take command with a 9-3 advantage. Parent Korsness had a kill and a block during the scoring streak. Senior Natalie Kapuniai-Ryan added a block, and Fiarito had a pair of aces.
Forest Grove was able to trim the margin to 19-14, but the Vikings wouldn't score another point in the set. Following a sideout kill by senior senior Tess Widney, the Lady Bowmen, with Fiarito again serving, got two kills from senior Josie Wilson, one each by Natalie Kapuniai-Ryan and Parent Korsness and an ace by Fiarito to wrap up the 25-14 second-set victory.
The Lady Bowmen were then in charge, from start to finish, in the third set. With Fiarito serving, Sherwood took a quick 5-0 lead in the set. Kills by Wilson and Parent Korsness, and an ace by senior Kaylyn Jackson, helped push the lead to 9-1.
With Alyssa Kapuniai-Ryan serving, the Lady Bowmen went on another scoring streak later in the set. Back-to-back kills by senior Claire McGill, a kill by sophomore Emma Wagner and a kill by Friendly helped Sherwood up the margin to 19-5.
From there, the Lady Bowmen cruised to the 25-10 third-set win, completing the sweep.
"I think we came together as a group, and our hitters were really on," Fiarito said. "This was really fun, and really needed, for sure. I think we all recognize that we play our best when we're having fun."
"It helps when we have fun out there. When we let things get to our heads, we get down, and we get mad, but, when we're smiling and laughing out there, you can't help but have fun," Leitzinger said. "Everyone was cheering on the whole team. It was nice to see our underclassmen stepping up and playing well."
The Lady Bowmen are also hoping that the impressive win is a good sign for the rest of the season.
"We are hoping to a home playoff game," Leitzinger said. "That's our ultimate goal. It would be really nice because we have 10 seniors on the team, and it would be nice to have a home playoff match."
The Lady Bowmen will be back in action on Tuesday, when they play at Newberg in a conference match starting at 6:45 p.m. On Oct. 17, Sherwood will travel to Century for a 6:45 p.m. conference contest.
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