by: PHIL HAWKINS - Emily Saalfeld subs in for Tiana Jaramillo at the Oktoberfest Tournament in Mount Angel two weeks ago. The Cougars went 0-3 at the tournament and continue to seek their first victory of the 2013 season.At almost the halfway point of the 2013 fall season, several area volleyball teams are still competing to notch their first wins of the season.

The Woodburn Bulldogs (0-5, 0-4 Mid-Willamette) and the Gervais Cougars (0-9, 0-5 West Valley) both feature new coaches looking to turn around programs in two different situations.

The Cougars, led by first-year coach Emily Schott, features one of the youngest teams in West Valley. Gervais has had some success, winning individual sets at Sheridan, Jefferson, Santiam and Crow, but has yet to piece together a complete game yet.

Gervais came close last week in a 3-0 losses to Horizon Christian and Westside Christian at home.

Both games were incredibly close contests. The Cougars fell to Horizon Christian Tuesday by scores of 25-19, 25-21, 25-18. Two days later, the team lost to Westside Christian 25-22, 25-12, 25-23.

Despite the sweeps, the scores remained close in five out of six games. The Cougars open this week against Colton Tuesday, followed by a trip to Amity Thursday.

Further north, new head coach Brittany Wilson and the Bulldogs a are stacked with senior talent but play in a difficult conference led by No. 1 West Albany.

Woodburn traveled to No. 10 Corvallis Tuesday to open the week with a 3-0 loss 25-6, 25-7, 25-7. The Bulldogs returned hom Thursday to face Crescent Valley, where they lost 3-0 25-13, 25-6, 25-12.

Woodburn’s two conference games this week are at home, against Dallas Tuesday and South?Albany Thursday. The Bulldogs travel to Parkrose High School Saturday for tournament play.

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