Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

St. Paul still among states elite


Volleyball — Cruising through the Casco League, the Bucks challenge themselves at Oakridge tournament over the weekend

St. Paul capped a busy week on Saturday with a consolation tournament victory at that continued to showcase the Buckaroos as one of the premier 1A teams in the state.

The Bucks opened the week with a trio of 3-0 victories over Casco League opponents before traveling to Oakridge on Saturday to take on a talented field. The team opened with a 2-0 loss (25-9, 25-14) against Glide, which entered the tournament as the third-ranked team in 3A.

“Glide is a very strong 3A team,” coach Lesli Hiller said. “We started to play better mid-way through the second game, but it was too late.”

While the loss may have been disheartening, the Bucks took out their frustrations on the Mapleton Sailors, scoring a 2-0 victory (25-16, 25-14) to set up a match against the host Warriors in the consolation championship. The Bucks went on to dispatch Mapleton 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-22).

“Sara Pierson had a very consistent tourney and really played great the last game,” Hiller said. “She is playing very strong at the net and also made the all-star team.”

Earlier in the week, the Bucks faced a test against league-foe Veritas on Thursday, beating the Vanguard 3-0 (25-16, 25-13, 25-17) in the team’s first home game in two weeks.

“Veritas gave us a very strong match and is easily in the top three of our league,” Hiller said. “They have improved on defense as well as hitting.”

The Vanguard struggled mightily with serve receive, but hit a solid 94 percent on its serves for the match.

“When we could get good passes and set up an offense we were matching them point for point, but we just couldn’t get out of the shank tank to give a fight,” head coach Rachel Schippers said. “It was disappointing because we definitely should have put on a better show.”

The day before, the Bucks cruised to an easy victory in their first set against Falls City and cruised to a 25-3, 25-18, 25-12 sweep.

Hiller praised the team’s accurate service after the game, as Hannah Merten, Carolina Ruvalcaba and Cameron Stone connected on 49 of 51 serves, led by Merten’s 23-of-25 performance. Remy Brentano added 21 assists, and Delaney Sump led the team with 10 kills.

“Our team continues to impress me on their versatility and ability to rise over adversity and continue to climb towards our goal,” Hiller said. “Our team played solid together despite the change in our offense and lineup.

Brentano led the team with 30 assists as she filled in for Smith, while Sump led the team with 11 kills.

The solid week kept the Buckaroos near the top of the 1A rankings at No. 3 overall as the team continues its conference play this week at Country Christian Tuesday, followed by back-to-back games against Jewell Thursday.