The Vikings celebrate after winning a point. Sophomore Jaymeson Jensen, second from right, made 12 kills and served at 100% during the match. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)
VALE – The Vikings were tired. It’s no excuse, said Coach Shannon Steele, but playing 33 sets of volleyball over just five days took a toll at Monday’s match against the Nampa Christian Trojans.
The match was a home game for Vale, and the Vikings beat the Trojans in the first set. But they went on to lose the next three sets in a row: 20-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-17.
The final set saw the Vikings nearly climb their way back as they won five points back-to-back, but it wasn’t enough.
Steele commended her team for playing hard and serving tough throughout the match.
Three Vikings served at 100 percent for the night: Jaymeson Jensen, Lexi Cleaver and Taleah Zueger. Jensen also made 12 kills while Tyanna Norton made 10.
[ KEEP YOUR LOCAL NEWS STRONG – SUBSCRIBE ]
“I think that our team learned that in order to get a win you need to do the little things right,” said senior Maycee DeLong, a setter and one of three team captains. “We need to communicate with each other and build each other up.”
She said in the fourth set the team came out and got the job done, but that she wishes it had carried over to the other sets.
Steele said she’s OK with a loss. She makes a point of setting her teams in front of tougher opponents.
“I love to play a tough schedule,” said Steele. “It helps us learn and it preps you for postseason and league games.”
It also gains the respect of those bigger teams, Steele added.
The team’s grueling five days began Thursday, Sept. 5 at a match against Parma. The Vikings lost that match in four sets as well. The Peg Peterson tournament in Pocatello took up the two days following the Parma match.The Vikings took third in the silver bracket, finishing in the top 15 out of 28 teams.
Although the Vikings have been battling injuries all season, Steele said she’s seen the team get better and better with each match.
This Thursday, the Vikings will play in a tri-match tournament against Skyview and Fruitland in Nampa. Fruitland won the Snake River Valley title in 2017.
From left: senior Demia Hardin, an outside hitter, and junior middle hitter Emersyn Johnson await a serve from the Nampa Christian Trojans at a non-league match Monday, Sept. 9 in Vale. Johnson had 15 digs during the match. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)
Sophomore Lexi Cleaver gets ready to serve the ball. Cleaver served at 100% during the match. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)
Junior Tyanna Norton made 10 kills. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)
Senior Maycee DeLong is a setter and one of three team captains. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)
From left: senior Sierra Cleaver and junior Emersyn Johnson prepare to receive a serve. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)
Senior Lexy Rodgers prepares to serve the ball. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)
The Nampa Christian Trojans celebrate after winning a point. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)
Lexi Cleaver in the middle of a serve. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)
SUBSCRIBE TO HELP PRODUCE VITAL REPORTING — For $5 a month, you get breaking news alerts, emailed newsletters and around-the-clock access to our stories. We depend on subscribers to pay for in-depth, accurate news produced by a professional and highly trained staff. Help us grow and get better with your subscription. Sign up HERE.