Featured Stories

Greyhounds getting better

Young team improving in second half of season

The Gaston volleyball team is a work in progress, but the Greyhounds are starting to get there.

Any team with just one upperclassman — and no seniors — is going to experience some growing pains, but the young Hounds have been stepping up to the task of playing varsity ball and have been showing progress in recent matches.

“I think that overall in the league, we’ve been pretty competitive,” Gaston coach Maddy Anderson said. “Obviously, our league record doesn’t necessarily reflect how well they’re playing, but they definitely made a lot of improvements this year and are continuing to do so.”

That progress includes a 27-25, 25-16, 25-16 sweep of City Christian on Sept. 24 and a four-set loss to Faith Bible on Sept. 29 that, with a couple of breaks, might have shaken out differently.

The Eagles currently sit in second place in the Northwest League standings, but Gaston took the third set from them 25-12 and also played them tough in 26-24 and 25-20 losses in games two and four, respectively. Late last week, Anderson judged that match as her squad’s best to date.

“Finally against Faith Bible we were able to go on the offense a little bit,” Anderson said. “We had a really strong serving game, which was beneficial. When they serve pretty consistently, some of them can spot serve, which definitely helps us do well against some of those teams.”

The Greyhounds are getting quality play out of Charity Hall, who is playing all the way around. Though just a sophomore, she is arguably the team’s most experienced varsity player, and she picked up Northwest League all-star honors as a freshman on last year’s state playoff team.

Anderson estimated that Hall averages between 12 and 15 kills per match, describing her as a strong passer and perhaps the Hounds’ most consistent server.

The coach also said that Julia Clark — another one of the squad’s six sophomores — has been coming along as the Hounds’ new setter. Taylor Bassel has been stepping into her outside hitting role and junior Jess Knuteson is also starting to produce in that position after being switched there earlier this fall.

On Monday, Gaston defeated Toledo 22-25, 25-16, 25-9, 25-15 in a nonleague match to improve to 4-7 overall. The Hounds were 2-4 in league play heading into a match on Tuesday at Vernonia.

Results of that contest were not available at press deadline. Next week, Gaston hosts Delphian at 7 p.m. on Tuesday before traveling to Neah-Kah-Nie on Thursday.

The plan for the late-season stretch is clear.

“Just focusing in on being a team, playing as a team, making sure that they communicate and just bring their best – that’s kind of our main focus right now,” Anderson said.


Local Weather



Forest Grove


Humidity: 90%

Wind: 3 mph

  • 30 Nov 2015

    Mostly Cloudy 39°F 31°F

  • 1 Dec 2015

    PM Rain 46°F 38°F