Sherwood starts strong, but Wilsonvile wins

by: DAN BROOD - SHERWOOD CELEBRATION -- The Lady Bowmen celebrate after scoring a point in Tuesday's match at Wilsonville.WILSONVILLE — The young Sherwood High School volleyball team got off to blazing starts in the first two games of its match with rival Wilsonville.

But, unfortunately for the Lady Bowmen, Wilsonville had even better finishes.

Sherwood, after taking control in each of the first two games of the match, watched the Wildcats rally in a big way to score a 25-21, 25-23, 25-17 victory in a Northwest Oregon Conference match held Tuesday at Wilsonville High School.

“That's the type of volleyball we can play,” Sherwood coach Emily Gustafson said of her team's strong stretches of play in Tuesday's match. “We just need to sustain that. We're a younger team in terms of experience, but it's an opportunity for people to step up.”

Wilsonville improved to 3-0 in NWOC matches with the victory. Sherwood moved to 1-2 in conference matches with the setback.

“We're pretty much a new team,” Sherwood junior setter Mallory Shields said. “We're still trying to figure out who plays well together. I think it will all come together. We're getting better every week and every game. We'll be fine.”

According to Gustafson, every player on the Sherwood varsity team this year is either a new player to the roster, or they're playing a different position this year.

“We are 100-percent completely different this year,” Gustafson said. “We're such a new team, and we have people who are not familiar with what Sherwood volleyball is, but, through time, it will come together.”

The Lady Bowmen sure seemed to show flashes of brilliance in Tuesday's match.

With freshman Sarah Penner having a pair of kills, and with senior Hannah Valesano and junior Taylor Hubbard adding one kill apiece and with Shields having an ace serve, the Lady Bowmen jumped out to a quick 10-3 lead in the opening game of the contest.

Sherwood's lead was at 13-9 when Wilsonville came storming back in a big way. Led by senior Rebecca Wenz, the Wildcats went on a 10-1 run to take a 19-14 lead.

Sherwood, with senior Maggie Kirven serving three straight points, came back to tie the game at 20-20. But the Lady Bowmen couldn't regain the lead. With the score tied at 21-21, Wilsonville, getting kills by junior Alexis Thompson and junior Hailey Hayes, scored the final four points of the game to get a 25-21 win.

Seemingly not discouraged, the Lady Bowmen got off to a blistering start again in the second game of the match.

Sherwood grabbed a fast 5-1 lead following a block by senior Alex Hubbard. The Lady Bowmen went on to lead 11-5 after an ace serve by DAN BROOD - BLOCK IT -- Sherwood's Britnie Jacobsen (left) and Sarah Penner go up for a block during Tuesday's match at Wilsonville.

Wilsonville trimmed the margin to 17-16, but the Lady Bowmen took off again. Penner had two kills and a block and Shields added a kill to help Sherwood open up a 22-16 advantage.

But, again, Wilsonville came storming back. The Wildcats scored seven straight points to take a 23-22 lead. A kill by Penner tied the game up at 23-23, but Wilsonville notched the next two points to get a 25-23 win.

Sherwood took leads of 3-2 and 4-3 in the third game of the match. But Wilsonville, after taking a 5-4 lead, never trailed again as it put away the three-game victory.

“We played well at times,” said Shields, who played at middle blocker last year. “We need to learn to play under pressure. We need to play to win, not play not to lose. We'll get there.”

Prior to the match at Wilsonville, Sherwood posted a 25-19, 19-25, 25-27, 26-24, 15-8 win over Parkrose in a league match played last Thursday at Parkrose High School.

The Lady Bowmen will be back in action tonight (Thursday) when they host Milwaukie in a league match starting at 6:45 p.m. at Sherwood High School. On Tuesday, Sherwood will travel to Liberty for a 6:45 p.m. league contest.

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