Sandy goes the distance to topple the Bowmen, taking the fifth set 15-10
In its first three years in the Northwest Oregon Conference, the Sandy volleyball team faced Sherwood a total of six times, and went 0-6. The Pioneers failed to take a single set from Sherwood in those six matches. It seemed like a cruel joke to schedule Sandys league opener at Sherwood, but the Pioneers turned the joke around on the Bowmen.
Sandy pulled off the monumental upset of Sherwood, the defending conference champions, 3-2 (25-20, 15-25, 25-20, 21-25, 15-10) on September 10.
Obviously a very big win for the girls, Sandy coach Chris Meyers said. They really put it all together and played some of the best volleyball that has been seen at Sandy in a long time.
The Pioneers stunned Sherwood by taking the first set, but that seemed to wake up the Bowmen who stormed out to a 19-2 lead in the second set. It looked like Sandy was headed for another defeat against its NWOC rival.
I believe the turning point in the match was the second game when we were down 19-2. In the past, we had a tendency to fold up the tent and give up, Meyers said. Instead the girls decided they were going to take it as a challenge to see how many more points they could score until the game was over. From that point they beat them 13-6 and completely reversed the momentum going into the third game.
Sandy went on to win the third set to draw within one game of claiming the match. Sherwood again responded and tied the match at two sets each by prevailing in the fourth set, but Sandy kept its composure and rose above the Bowmen in the final game to earn the hard-fought win.
Even though Sherwood won the fourth game, there was never any doubt in the girls minds that they could win the fifth game, Meyers said. They came out and took it right to them and never looked back.
The key to victory for the Pioneers was their dominant serving and disciplined defense. Their service game kept Sherwood guessing and they racked up a staggering 21 aces as a team. On defense, Sandy did a solid job tracking down hits from the Bowmen and keeping points alive. The Pioneers also came up with a few blocks in crucial situations.
Bekah Mather led the squad with eight aces. She added three blocks and 12 kills. Alex Ford posted six aces and a team-high 14 kills. Kayla Anderson had 11 kills and three aces, while Allie Crane pitched in with three blocks.
The victory was just the fifth road win for Sandy since 2006 and marks the first time the Pioneers have won their NWOC opener.