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Lions' volleyball dispatches Milwaukie


Few errors and good defense result in a win in straight sets for St. Helens

by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Junior Taylor Albertson leaps for the kill in the third set against Milwaukie. Albertson injured her left wrist late in the game.It was a quick match for the St. Helens Lions, who traveled to Milwaukie to face the Mustangs and won 25-12, 25-7, 25-11 for their second consecutive win. St. Helens (5-1) took another step toward a league title in the dominating win over Milwaukie (0-4) by committing few errors and staying focused on the task at hand.

Ray looks at each point that the opposition puts up on the scoreboard and puts it into one of two different catagorys: earned points and points given up. The latter is when St. Helens makes a mistake, such as a misshit or a serving error, and their opponent is able to score. Earned points are just that. When the Mustangs scored of their own accord, the score is earned.

“One of our goals was to not give them points,” said head coach Tom Ray. “We wanted to force them to make the points.”

The first set, which the Lions won 25-12, saw St. Helens give up five points on errors and the like. In the final two sets, the road team gave up just eight points combined. That total is far lower than games the Lions have played in the past, and Ray says the team is intent on chasing down the league title.

“They came to play. They showed up,” said Ray. “They want to win a league title.”

Every game, not just the big ones, are looked at with importance. Each game has a goal, and in the case of the win at Milwaukie, Ray felt that goal was attained.

After such a strong performance, Ray struggled to find an area where the Lions struggled.

“Always serve receive, because when you get better serve receive serve, your setters don’t have to move around as much and they can run our offense better,” said Ray.

Practice in the coming days will focus on running plays to get the hitters moving around, opening up holes at the net to score, according to Ray, who was pleased to have gotten playing time for everyone on his roster.

by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Senior Gabby Susee taps the ball over the net in the third set. Susee continued her strong showing this season in the win over Milwaukie, the Lions' second in a row. Though stats haven’t yet been finalized, it was easy to see that senior outside hitter Gabby Susee, who was also the player of the week for St. Helens, had a huge game. It wasn’t just the powerful kills from the dominant 6’1” force, but a mixture of soft touches over the net and solid blocking up front with Taylor Albertson.

The Lions will take the court next at home when they face Wilsonville at 6:45 on Thursday, Sept. 19.

Notes: Junior hitter Taylor Albertson injured her wrist near the end of the third set, apparently by running into Susee. Albertson was in obvious pain after the match, and was being taped by the trainer, but an official diagnosis has yet to be reached.