South Wasco County athletes, pictured from left to right, Ana Popchock, Jacqueline Noland and Jada Myers were in action Thursday for a Big Sky Conference match against Ione. The Lady Redsides breezed through three games for a home sweep to start league action, 2-0.
Ray Rodriguez photos
FRI., SEPT. 9
F. Vancouver at The Dalles, 7 p.m.
Dufur at Falls City, 7 p.m.
SAT., SEPT. 10
Prep Cross Country
The Dalles at Tualatin Inv., 8 a.m.
SHS vs. Triad at Redmond, 1 p.m.
Dufur at Griswold Tourney, 9 a.m.
MON., SEPT. 12
Lyle-Wishram at Sherman, 5 p.m.
TUES., SEPT. 13
Prep Boys Soccer
Franklin at The Dalles, 4 p.m.
Prep Girls Soccer
The Dalles at Tualatin, 4 p.m.
Horizon at S. Wasco, 6 p.m.
The Dalles at Redmond, 6 p.m.
MAUPIN – With a chance to start a new legacy in their refurbished gymnasium, South Wasco County came out with a look in their eyes against Ione.
The Lady Redsides converted 92 percent of their serves with 14 aces, and dropped 21 kills on 58 of 67 swings to sweep the defending Big Sky Conference champion Cardinals in a league matchup played Thursday in Maupin.
“Today, we all just worked really well as a team,” said sophomore Kyrsten Sprouse. “We were all happy. We were happy to play, happy to get on the court and happy to hit. Just in general, we were working together, our passing was great, our sets were perfect and we just did an incredible job in every part of the game.”
In the opening game and the Redsides up 2-1, Sprouse gave her team an immediate edge from the service line by starting a 7-0 run with three aces to make it a 9-1 score.
SWC then held leads of 13-3, 18-6 and 24-13, before a Cardinal serve sailed out of bounds, giving the Redsides a 25-13 win.
Just as the first game began, the Redsides staked control early in the second with Allie Noland delivering seven straight points, two on aces, a stuffed block by Jada Myers and a kill apiece by Madisen Davis and Jacqueline Noland to swell their lead to 7-0.
Ione inched as close as 14-11 and 18-15, but SWC scored the final seven points, capping the 25-15 win with two kills each by Myers and Ana Popchock.
Ahead 2-0 in the match, the Redsides trailed 4-3 and 8-7 in the third game, and flipped the switch for a 16-1 spurt and 12 consecutive service points from Allie Noland to stretch the lead to a 23-9 margin.
Myers dropped a kill to give SWC a 24-11 lead and Ione scored two straight points to get to within 24-13, but Popchock put an exclamation point on this dominant performance with her sixth kill of the match to give her team a 25-13 third-game win and the sweep.
“The main difference between Tuesday and tonight was we hit the ball,” said SWC head coach Donna Barton. “We worked really hard on hitting last night (Wednesday) and it is really great seeing them not worrying about it and them just swinging freely and doing what they should be doing. They did it. It is so cool when they take what they work on, commit it to the game and it is successful.”
Myers had a team-high seven kills and she added two aces, Popchock tacked on six kills and Jacqueline Noland dropped two kills and went 7 for 7 from the service line.
Jazmin Espeland went 3 of 4 from the service stripe with two aces, Sprouse tallied a kill and totaled five aces on 19 of 19 on serves.
Allie Noland had four kills and converted 26 of 26 serves with five aces.
In all, the Redsides racked up 14 aces on 67 of 73 serve attempts.
“I thought this was our best serving match,” Barton said. “We had some aces and some hard hits. Even though we didn’t get a lot of aces, Ione wasn’t passing the ball forward and that is our goal. If you can get them to pass it straight up, then you can disrupt their offense. Allie just crushed it. She did an amazing job serving for us.”
Sprouse talked about starting a new legacy for the volleyball program.
So far, the Redsides are 4-1 on the year, three of the wins by sweep, they are 2-0 in league play and just pulled off an impressive effort against a highly-respected program.
“It is a great feeling starting league 2-0,” Sprouse said. “I think we can keep this momentum as long as we keep wanting more from ourselves. We are practicing hard. It just takes time to get to where we need to get. We had some time off until this new season and we are just starting to get back in the game. I think if we can continue what we are doing, we will be much better.”
SWC (4-1 overall, 2-0 league) hosts Horizon Christian at 5 p.m. Tuesday, and then travels to Fossil next Thursday for a road match against Condon-Wheeler at 5 p.m.