The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

SH spikers lose on the road at Sisters, rebound with sweep of Stayton


March 24, 2021

ADAIRA Sleutel-Burger slams a ball past a Stayton defender during the Huskies' win Thursday evening.

After steamrolling their first five opponents this season, Sweet Home's volleyball players finally found some real competition Wednesday, March 17, at Sisters, coming away on the short end of a 3-1 score.

"Sisters was, by far, the most competitive game we have had all season," Head Coach Mary Hutchins said, adding that the Huskies expected that.

The Outlaws played a "fairly error-free game" en route to a 25-18, 25-18, 20-25, 25-20 win, as Sweet Home struggled with some unforced errors and "did not have our most efficient night at service-receive," she said.

"We also struggled to get a consistent block up and we played a lot of defense."

All four games followed similar patterns, she said, with one team taking the lead and the other team closing the gap until the last five or six points.

"The reffing was a bit inconsistent at times and I think we did let that affect us mentally in crucial moments," Hutchins said. "We had close points after long rallies that we won, then would have a call changed and we would lose a point we had just earned or have one taken away that we saw on the scoreboard. Tthat happened probably more than normal for a varsity game.

"I did feel that we will need to work overall on not letting that rattle us and focusing on the next point immediately instead of letting it affect us for the next two or three points."

Also, she said, the Huskies had some difficulties with game speed, despite having practiced for that, because of the quality of competition they'd faced prior to Sisters.

"We had to adjust on the spot and I do feel it took just a bit of time to do that," Hutchins said. "That was something we can normally get playing multiple tournaments, preseason games, etc., which we haven't had the opportunity to do."

Sisters has largely confined itself to playing teams in Deschutes County, which are all 5A and 6A Division schools.

"They were also able to play indoor scrimmages in the fall in Crook County when we were not able to," Hutchins said.

"I think we were outplayed in this match and we found things to work on for the coming weeks," she said. "It was a good experience and it was two tough teams playing in a highly contested match just as we expected it to be."

The Outlaws all play volleyball year-round, and are a "solid" team, she added, noting that she and her players are "excited" to host Sisters on Wednesday, March 31.

"I am very proud of my team for their determination and "growth mindset," that they are excited to play them again. They do not shy away from good competition; in fact, they welcome it! We had to immediately turn around the next day and take care of business with Stayton which we did and now we are focused on the coming weeks."

The Huskies beat Stayton handily, 25-8, 25-9, 25-11, on Thursday, March 18. They travel to Woodburn Wednesday, March 24, and host Cascade Thursday, March 25.


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