Stayton ends netters’ playoff hopes

After losing their final regular season game to the Husky volleyball team, Stayton surged forward Thursday night to eliminate the Huskies from conference playoffs 25-14, 25-14 and 25-18.

“We went out there and got shot down,” Coach Heide Nichol said. “A couple times, they made some great plays, and it really just shut off the momentum we could have had after last Thursday.

“We really just didn’t play inspired volleyball. We just kind of shut down as a team. Each game, we had some individuals that did some things well.”

But the individuals never synchronized, Coach Nichol said. They committed quite a few unforced errors and didn’t dig well, keeping them from activating much of an offense.

Stayton “really did a good job,” Coach Nichol said.

Hitting, Elissa McCartin led with seven kills. Cait Thireault added four kills, and Nicki Emmert had three kills.

Alisha Basham led the team digging with 12.

The Huskies did receive serves well led by Chelsea Gagner who went 21-24.

Emmert set 48-52 with 11 assists, Coach Nichol said. In the last few games, she has been up in the hundreds.

The Huskies led for a short time in the third game. Stayton tied the game up at around 11 points, then the two teams traded about four points before Stayton put away the final points of the game.

“I think they tried to rally and get things going in that last game,” Coach Nichol said. “But they lost too much momentum.”

Trailing that much, “it becomes really hard to forge any kind of comeback,” Coach Nichol said. “In the last few weeks, I’ve been proud of how they’ve improved. They’ve really come a long ways.”

The team loses four seniors this year, including Basham, Emmert, McCartin and Kari McGuyre.

“Hopefully, we’ll get everybody back and will be able to get a good start,” Coach Nichol said. It was nice to have a good group of seniors this year and improve on last year’s performance and participate in playoffs.

The Huskies finished fourth with a 5-5 league record and 8-6 overall record.

“What I always tell the girls, we want to win all the games we know we should, and we want to win a game here and there that nobody thinks we should,” Coach Nichol said. The girls did that when they defeated Stayton during homecoming to end regular season. “To get a win against that team, I think the girls should feel really proud of themselves.”