McNary’s Sydney Hunter puts up a block in competition Tuesday, Sept. 22. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

McNary’s Sydney Hunter puts up a block in competition Tuesday, Sept. 22. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

McNary High School’s varsity volleyball team bounced back from its first league loss to take a 3-0 win over McKay High School Tuesday, Sept. 15.

“In the second set, it became a five-point game and that was a test, but we came together and pulled it out,” said Lady Celt Jaylene Montano.

Set scores were 25-14, 25-20 and 25-17. Vanessa Hayes led the offense with eight kills on the night. Reina Strand put down five. Kylie Gilmour led McNary’s defense with nine digs and she served up five aces.

“We were communicating a lot more than we did with West Albany, and we created more plays that helped us get ahead,” said Gilmour.

McNary Head Coach Kellie Scholl also credited Valerie Diede with tough play in the match.

The Celtics traveled to North Medford High School last weekend to take part in the Rogue Valley Classic.

The Keizer team swept their pool play opponents – Foot Hill, North Medford and Churchill high schools – to take first headed into bracket play.

“We started off in the first game with a different rotation, but we adapted really well. I think we had really good communication and supported each other really well,” said Montano.

In the first match of bracket play, McNary battled hard with Bend High School and eventually emerged the victors. Set scores were 30-28 and 25-17. That win pitted the team against Roseburg High School and the long drive and longer day began to take its toll.

“We were talking a lot in the morning, but we got a little tired by the end of the day,” said Gilmour.

The Lady Celts lost to Indians in sets of 25-15 and 25-22.

“Reina had a great tournament, she hit and blocked extremely well for us. Sydney Hunter also played well offensively. Both setters, Sam Van Voorhis and Madi Cloyd, did a great job distributing the ball to all our hitters. Shaylee Williams also had a very nice tournament,” said Scholl.

Montano said she wanted to see the team focus on being more consistent with opponents North Salem and Sprague high schools who were next in line. Gilmour said the team still had room to grow.

“I think we’re playing as a team, but we always have room to improve. I think we’ll do fine against both teams,” Gilmour said.