by: Tommy Whitcomb,

With Pacific Conference volleyball action on hold, Forest Grove tested the non-conference waters against Sunset and Westview last week.

The results were not quite what head coach Renee Niemi had in mind - three-game losses to both teams - but she admitted that there were some bright spots among the setbacks.

Last Tuesday's affair against Sunset was one of the longest and most hotly-contested matches in Niemi's coaching career, with Sunset eventually pulling out a 25-13, 29-27, 36-34 victory over the Lady Viks.

'That was the highest scoring game I have ever watched,' said Niemi. 'We lost in three, but played very well the last two games with them. Sunset had a lot more height than we did but we covered our hitters well and played awesome defense.'

Unfortunately, Thursday's three-game loss against Westview wasn't nearly as rewarding. The Lady Vikings went down 29-27, 25-14, 25-18.

'Westview was another story,' said Niemi. 'We did not play well at all. Everyone seemed a little off.'

Forest Grove (2-7) traveled back to Westview for a tournament on Saturday and made some much-needed progress in preparation for a return to conference play this week, beginning with a trip to Tualatin tonight.

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