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Viking volleyball fights on Senior Night, but lose to No. 11 ranked Saxons 3-1

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Forest Grove's front line jumps to block a spike during the Vikings' 3-1 loss to South SalemSize matters.

In spite of the type of Senior Night effort you’d expect from a proud Viking volleyball squad, the No. 11 ranked Saxons of South Salem were too tall and ultimately too much for Forest Grove Tuesday, October 18 at Forest Grove High School, winning 3-1.

It wasn’t from a lack of effort, nor from a lack of enthusiasm from the local Viking faithful, who donned themselves in colorful garb – and equally colorful cheers aimed directly at the Lady Saxons.

Amidst chants of annoyingly familiar jingles like, “JG WENTWORTH 877 CASH NOW,” and “IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO SLEEP LIKE A BABY, MATTRESS WORLD,” the Lady Vik’s dropped the first set 25-16, but scratched and clawed their way to an intense 26-24 second-set victory.

The Vikings used a combination of kills by senior outside hitter Abby Boozer and junior middle blocker Chloe Kramer, coupled with extended rallies – aided by the repeated digs by senior libero Vanessa Ramirez – to tie the set 16-16. After four consecutive South Salem points, Forest Grove battled back to tie the game 21-21, then won five of the next eight points to even the match at a set a piece.

The Saxons (12-2, 16-7) jumped on the Vikings early in the third set behind the powerful spikes of junior outside hitter Bridgette O'Connor. The 6-foot O’Connor, who finished with 17 kills, was a thorn in Forest Grove’s side all night. Between her and fellow junior, 6-foot-three-inch Selbie Christensen, the twin towers spiked and blocked their way to frustrating an undersized Viking team, frankly running up hill. South Salem won the set 25-19, and looked to finish a seemingly defeated Forest Grove bunch in Set-4.

But the Vikings wouldn’t go quietly.

Boozer and Kramer, with help from senior setter Ashlie Collins, combatted South Salem’s power game with strategic taps over the outstretched arms of the Saxons’ front line, and dug out from an 18-11 hole, pulling to within 23-22 before the visiting Saxons closed-out the game, 25-22, and at the end of the day the match, 3-1.

Forest Grove was led by Boozer’s eight kills.

The Vikings close the regular season at McKay tomorrow night at 630pm.