Kimberly Moisan sends a spike over the net in a match earlier this season. (Keizertimes/ERIC A. HOWALD)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Halfway through the season, the Lady Celts are the 5-0 envy of every other team in the Central Valley Conference.

Of course, that also makes them a  highly-valued target.

“The teams are all going to be that much sharper, the coaches will have made the adjustments they’ve needed to make, and it’s going to make the second half of the season that much harder,” said Dustin Walker, McNary head coach.

It’s not a position the team is taking for granted.

“West Salem is going to have their horns out now and we’ll use that to push for the three-game win. Sprague has been getting better throughout the season,” said Whittley Harrell, senior libero.

North Salem High School, the only team in the conference McNary has dropped a game to will also be nipping at their heels.

In some ways, the team is still dealing with that early-season hiccup, said Megan Holland.

“We’re never going to underestimate anybody again. We’re going to keep our intensity up, keep playing our positions and knowing our positions,” Holland said. “West Salem underestimated us earlier, but they’re going to come back even harder.”

The Celts capped their first run through the Central Valley Conference with a win over McKay High School Tuesday, Oct 5. McNary won 25-17, 25-15, 25-14.

“It was a really good game. We missed a lot of serves but we kept at it,” said Deven Hunter, a junior.

Given the craziness that usually surrounds homecoming week, Walker was impressed with the girls’ focus throughout the match.

“Any one of the teams can show up with something unexpected on any given night and we’ve made a point of preparing for each team. It showed in the McKay game,” Walker said.

Senior Madi Cavell led the team in kills, 10, and digs, 11, and added three blocks. Harrell put in 11 digs. Hunter recorded 10 kills and three blocks. Holland had 18 assists and and three aces. Keri stein also put down three aces.

“We knew who we need to watch out for and adjusted our game,” Harrell said. “Moving forward we just need to remember to play our game and not our opponent’s.”