PREP VOLLEYBALL: Pirates advance to state tourney

DAYTON — Perrydale’s volleyball team’s season stood on the brink. The Pirates lost to Willamette Valley Christian 25-15, 25-13, 25-17 in the team’s first match of the Casco League tournament on Saturday.

That meant Perrydale would face Jewell with a state berth on the line.

“We only had 20 minutes to recover from the loss to mentally prepare for our match against Jewell,” coach Denise Dickey said. “… We refocused by playing some mental games and ball handling drills. For our warm up, we played six-on -six and I felt like they were ready to play.”

The Pirates rose to the challenge, earning a 19-25, 25-12, 25-18, 25-21 win to receive the Casco League’s third and final bid to state.

“They handled the pressure better than what I expected,” Dickey said. “With having a very young team, especially my freshmen setters played a very solid match. The inspiration and cheering from my bench players is what helped us win the match. Everything was positive and they really pushed through as a team. If a player looked like they were struggling, another player would pick them up.”

Statistics were not available, but Jackie Juarez was named to the Casco League all-tournament team. Juarez also earned first team all-league honors. Alyssa Lux was named second team all-league, while McKenna Desnoyers received honorable mention.

The Pirates open the first round of the state tournament Wednesday (today) against North Clackamas Christian.

North Clackamas Christian went 17-10 overall and 10-2 in The Valley 10 league play, good for second place. Perrydale lost to North Clackamas 25-18, 17-25, 18-25, 25-22, 15-11 on Aug. 27.

The winner advances to the second round on Saturday.

“This is a big step for my team to make it to state,” Dickey said. “I don’t like to get ahead of myself, but I am hoping with such a young team, this will just make next year a bit easier mentally for them.”

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