Spikers down Central to open season

Sweet Home kicked off its volleyball season in fine fashion Thursday, Sept. 9, with a four-game win over Central on the Panthers’ home court.

Central, with only one senior, came into the game having lost its opener on Sept. 2 to Yamhill-Carlton, 3-2, but the Panthers had their typical height and were a good team, said Sweet Home Coach Alicia Meier, who was seeing the hosts for the first time.

The Huskies, though, “came out strong” in the first two games, winning both 25-23.

Then they lost their head of steam in Game Three, falling 25-17.

“They played really tentative,” Meier said of her team. “We got down five or six points and that was too much of a spread to come back.

Sweet Home came out firing again in Game Four, a back-and-forth affair that the Huskies won 26-24. Meier said her team was down 17-12, but battled back.

“We pushed through and came back,” she said. “We were really digging deep at the end. It was fun to see their competitiveness.”

She said the match was a good experience for the Huskies, playing against taller competition.

“They had some really big blockers,” Meier said. “(Central Coach Claudine Mendazona) plays them really well, to show their strengths.”

For the Huskies, Brandi Trewin finished with 12 kills; Annie Whitfield had six; Jamie Swanson five and Megan Graville four.

“We were excited,” Meier said. “It was a great time for us.”

The Huskies still have to work out some “little kinks” in their defense and find their offensive rhythm as they get ready to host Cascade on Tuesday of this week and Philomath on Thursday, Sept. 16 €“ matches Sweet Home is looking forward to, she said.

“They’re going into it with confidence,” Meier said.