McNary’s Bri Nay and Alyssa Andretta put up a block in the Lady Celts’ contest with West Salem High School Tuesday, Set. 24. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

McNary High School’s girls varsity volleyball team began Central Valley Conference competition with a 3-0 win over McKay High School Tuesday, Sept 18.

The Lady Celts won in straight sets, 25-16, 25-17, 25-16.

“I don’t think it was our toughest competition of the season, but we knew we wanted that win,” said Celt Baili Keeton.

Lexi Price had eight kills and five digs, Ashlee Koenig had six kills and four digs, and Allison Turner had five kills.  Keeton added 14 digs as libero and Allison McGregor had nine digs.

“The team played very well and focused,” said Kellie Scholl, McNary head coach.

Keeton lit up when describing the first two sets of McNary’s follow-up match with South Salem High School, “They were the most awesome, fun games we’ve played all season. We were communicating and everyone was in the right spot and we were playing for each other. It was like we weren’t even thinking about it,” she said.

The Celtics picked up a first-set win 25-16 and then fought a small scale war in the second set that ended up in a 30-28 win for the Saxons.

“I think both teams knew–even during that match–that whoever came out on top was going to win the night,” Keeton said.

“It was really fun to watch that match go back and forth and see how bad each team wanted it,” added Price.

McNary faltered just slightly in the third set falling 25-20 and then lost a bit of composure in the third set losing 25-16, Keeton said.

“We got frustrated and started getting down on each other,” she said. “I think we were still devastated we hadn’t taken that second set.”

Price lead in kills with 14 and added 14 digs, Alyssa Andretta had four kills,eight digs and three aces. Koenig made four kills and 10 digs. Keeton had four aces and 26 digs, and McGregor added nine digs.

With matches on tap against longtime rival West Salem High School and North Salem High School, Keeton hoped the team could rekindle the flow they had in the first matches with the Saxons.

“A big thing for us right now is just trusting each other to be in the right spot and do our jobs,” Keeton said.

Price was on the same page.

“We’re at a point where we have the skill we need and the team is gelling, we just need to continue to focus on that,” she said.