McNary’s Hailey Francke puts up a block in the play-in match with Crater High School Saturday, Oct. 29. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School varsity volleyball  team closed out CVC play with a win over McKay High School and earned a playoff berth with a win over Crater High School last week.

The wins set up a first round match with Aloha High School Wednesday, Nov. 2, past press time, in Beaverton.

“They have a 6-foot-4 gal with solid skills, but Deven [Hunter] is an athletic and solid volleyball player in her own right, so I’m excited to see that match up,” said Dustin Walker McNary head coach.

Lady Celt Megan Holland said the team needed to hit the court with the fierceness it displayed in its last two wins.

“We’ve been doing pretty good at winning our first game and when we do, we end up pushing hard through the rest of the sets,” she said. “We do have the potential to beat great teams and we’re better than we think we are, there’s just times when we get down on ourselves when we really shouldn’t.”

McNary senior Averi Wing said the team’s seniors will be pushing the rest of the squad to match the intensity the Celts displayed last season when they took sixth in state.

“It’s more than just league, we can go to the top eight, we just need to have more heart and more desire,” she said.

McNary left no question about its desires in the play-in match with Crater Saturday, Oct. 29. The Celts won in three sets, 25-11,25-18 and 25-17.

“Our girls seemed to be catching the vision that if they make a solid run anything can happen in the postseason,” Walker said.

The Lady Celts set the tone in the first match dominating the Comets for long runs. Hunter had 17 kills and three blocks, Carley Eggleston had 13 digs, Allison McGregor put down seven aces, Holland had three aces and Wing put up three blocks in the match.

“We were just putting the ball away and keeping it in,” Wing said.

Prior to the play-in, McNary beat McKay in three sets 25-18,25-14 and 25-5.

“We went in confident and finished off with a 25-5 win. We never gave up and kept getting after the ball,” Holland said.

Hunter had 13 digs, 12 kills and four blocks in the outing. Holland had eight assists and four aces.

The win gave the Celts a 4-6 record for Central Valley Conference play, alongside North Salem and South Salem High Schools. The teams were also matched evenly when it came to beating teams with better records and other teams in the league. The final standings of the season were determined based on power rankings giving McNary third place for the season.

If McNary won the match with Aloha, its first-round play-in match will be scheduled Saturday, Nov. 5.