Sherwood stomps Buffs
Madras High's volleyball team started well enough in its Thursday home match against Tri-Valley League championship contender Sherwood. Madras kept 7-2 Sherwood tied through the first ten points of the match.
But, the White Buffalos' engine failed fully enough for first-year coach Patti Wright to simply say the girls "lost it" once Sherwood scored four straight points to pull away from the 5-5 tie in the first game.
Madras lost to Sherwood for a second time this season in two straight games despite its early success. Sherwood turned up the pressure with four straight points to take a 9-5 lead on its way to a 15-7 first-game win. It won game two 15-4.
"I wish I knew what happened," Wright said after the match. "The girls played really well Tuesday (at LaSalle), but we didn't seem to have any momentum left once (Sherwood) went on that little streak in the first game."
By beating LaSalle, Madras improved to 2-7 in league matches and grasped control of its own destiny regarding qualifying for the league's five-team playoff format.
As long as it happened to win Tuesday at Valley Catholic, Madras can assure itself of finishing no lower than fifth with an Oct. 25 home win over Estacada.
The Thursday match against Estacada will most likely be the final one in the Madras gym for six seniors.
Tarah Sweeney has been a captain for the White Buffalos in her final year but has received strong support from fellow seniors Tara Barnes, Nikki Daniels, Michelle Manion, Jamie Jaca and Natalie Mitchell.
If the White Buffalos can earn four wins they will break clear of a log-jam with LaSalle and Valley Catholic which they were in at the end of the first round of the seven-team league's home-and-home schedule (with all three 1-5).
Jaca provided a steady effort during the Sherwood match which Wright called an otherwise "disappointing" showing.
Having to battle a front line including girls who stood 5-10 and 5-11 was no help to Madras against Sherwood, but it should not have made the difference it seemed to, said Wright. The first year coach said the girls all did a good job in beating LaSalle, noting that having Tara Barnes play well in going through all six positions on the court was one of the big helps in picking up that second league win.
Madras will be trying to gain an upper hand in its match against Estacada. It lost the earlier league match at Estacada after beating the same team at a tournament.
Wright said she wouldn't be surprised if Madras won twice this week, as long as it receives the kind of serving, hitting and defensive effort it got at LaSalle. But, she added, good play was not only provided by the starters -- Barnes, Jaca, Sweeney, Lindsay Carroll, Daniels and Jare Retherford -- but also Manion, Mitchell and Tara Prow, when they entered the lineup