After opening the season with 11 consecutive wins, No. 5 McNary volleyball has come back down to Earth, dropping its last two matches.
The Celtics (11-2, 6-1) had won 30 of 36 sets through the first 11 games, but on Tuesday, Sept. 27, they fell to the No. 10 Sprague Olympians 3-1.
McNary started the night in a hole, dropping the first two sets.
The opener went to a tie-break, but the Olympians (12-5, 5-1) put it away 26-24.
The second set was nearly as close, just no tie-break was required for the Olympians this time, taking it 25-23.
The Celtics rallied back, and were able to win the third set 25-20, but that might have been all they had for the night.
In the fourth set, the Olympians dominated, putting the Celtics away 25-12 to seal the victory.
Two days earlier, the Celtics lost to the South Medford Panthers in the first bracket round of the Rogue Valley Classic tournament 2-1.
Fatigue may have been a factor. The losses were the Celtics’ 12th and 13th matches played in 10 days.
McNary head coach Crystal Ayres recognized the bulk of games following the Celtics’ straight set win against South Salem on Thursday, Sept. 22. They were coming off six matches at the Sprague tournament on Saturday, Sept. 17— only three count towards their OSAA record though — followed by matches with North Salem on Sept. 20 and South Salem.
“Rest, recovery, nutrition, hydration, a day of yoga and technical fundamental days, just like any training program, they’re essential to these long stretches,” Ayres said following the win against South Salem. “And especially a day off.”
Ayres may have to search for another day they can take off, with West Salem coming to McNary on Thursday, and the Westview tournament on Saturday, Oct. 1.