SILETZ — After seeing some difficult competition in its previous three matches, the Eddyville Charter volleyball team regrouped Tuesday evening and handily picked up a 1A-3 Mountain West League road sweep of league-foe and intra-county rival Siletz Valley.
The Eagles, who lost best-of-three game matches last Saturday to Willamette Valley Christian and East Linn Christian Academy at East Linn’s Eagle Volleyball Classic tournament, and a match Monday to perennial league powerhouse Mohawk, found their footing Tuesday in collecting the 25-15, 25-20, 25-23 defeat of the Warriors.
Eddyville Charter head coach Mariah Silvonen said following the match at Siletz that though Eddyville failed to pick up a match victory in its previous three outings, facing strong competition was truly a benefit for the Eagles.
“It was an exciting and competitive few games on Saturday, and then yesterday (Monday) we played at Mohawk,” Silvonen said after the Eagles bumped their season record to 5-1 in league matches and 6-4 overall in ending their three-match slide. “Never in my four years have we even won a single set against Mohawk, but we stayed with them last night.”
The Warriors (0-2, 0-2), playing just their second match this season, remained resilient the majority the evening after Eddyville announced its presence with authority in sprinting to a 14-5 lead in the opening set. The Eagles got off on the right foot, scoring seven consecutive points in Game 1 behind the serving of junior Brianna Lopez.
With junior Teonna Johnston serving, the Warriors came out strong and scored the first five points of the second game. The Eagles chipped away at their deficit, then took the second set lead for good at 15-14 on a Siletz Valley hitting error. That was followed by back-to-back aces by Eddyville sophomore Alaina Sanders.
The Eagles returned with vigor for the third game, and held 23-15 lead when Silvonen began getting her reserves some playing time. That, along with strong serving by Siletz sophomore Jazmine Murphey, helped the Warriors pull even at 23-all before Eddyville closed it out by winning the final two points.
Though Silvonen had no complaints about coming away with the victory, she downplayed the Eddyville-Siletz rivalry and likened it to little more than a family squabble.
“This is about as close to a home game for us as you can get,” Silvonen said. “It’s so close and it’s basically family — I coached here (Siletz Valley) a few years ago too, so winning against them is always a little bittersweet.”
Silvonen added that her roster, consisting of just two seniors, has already surpassed her expectations for this point in the season.
“They’ve improved a lot, and I’m actually really happy with where we’re at,” Silvonen said. “I was not expecting this, to be second in the league right now, so I’m really happy so far.”
Eddyville was slated Thursday to host Mapleton before the Eagles travel to Crow on Tuesday, Sept. 28, for another league contest.
The Warriors are scheduled to return to the court Sept. 28, when they travel to play two league matches at Mohawk.