By John L. Braese
VALE – After seeing one another on the volleyball court in both high school and club action, Vale’s Preslee Jensen and Nampa Christian’s Megan Yett had one last look at each other through the high school net on Tuesday, Sept. 5. This will not be the last time the two stare down each other on the court however.
Preslee is on her way to Utah State University in Logan, Utah, on a volleyball scholarship. Yett signed with the University of Utah in Salt Lake. With the signings, the two will again play for opposing teams, but this time on a collegiate level.
For the last high school meeting of the two players, it was Yett and the Trojans who held the advantage.
After the Vikings grabbed game one 25-19, Nampa Christian evened up the night by taking game two 25-20. Game three went tp Vale 25-21 before the Trojans took game four 25-20. In the fifth and deciding game, Nampa Christian scored a 15-5 victory to take the match.
Jensen recorded 20 kills for Vale and went 16-for-17 serving while adding 21 digs.
The Vikings served 91 percent as a team and Dallie Johnson went 23-for-24 serving. Tessa McFetridge was perfect from the service line, going 17-for-17.
Johnson and Gracee Jacobs put up 29 digs in the loss. McFetridge added 30 digs in the five-set match and Sable Kelso had 22.
Allee Ewing had 44 assists.
“We made mistakes tonight and you can’t do that against a team the caliber of Nampa Christian,” said Vale Coach Shannon Steele. “Megan is a great player and is fun to watch. She and Preslee battled all night.”
Last Thursday, it was the Vale bench that avenged an earlier loss to Fruitland. The Grizzlies downed the Vikings in tournament play in Pocatello on Sept. 2.
This time, the Viks dropped the first two games, 28-30 and 19-25. before picking up a win in game three, 25-17. Vale went on in game four to a 25-20 win and took the tiebreaker 15-12 for the night’s win.
“We were way ahead in the first game and let them back in and lost,” Steele said. “I need to give a big shout out to Macy Delong for coming off the bench. She did a phenomenal job and also a big shout out to Kendal Hawley who served exceptional off the bench.”
Kelso was perfect serving, going 20-for-20 with three aces. Hawley added two aces while going 8-for-9.
Johnson ended the night with 43 digs with McFetridge adding 39.
Offensively, Jensen had 20 kills to lead Vale. Ewing had 42 assists.
Vale made the trip to Cascade Christian High School on Saturday, Sept. 9, to meet two teams usually not seen until state playoff time.
Cascade Christian is the defending state 3A champion after downing Creswell in the finals in last season’s state tournament. Cascade Christian advanced to the final game after beating Vale 3-0 in the semifinals.
Meeting Creswell early in the morning, the Vikings went five games before coming away with the 3-2 victory. Taking on the defending state champion Challengers later in the day, the Vikings fell 3-0.
Vale (11-4 overall) starts Eastern Oregon League play on Tuesday, Sept. 19, with a quick trip down the road to take on Nyssa (2-3 overall). Game time is 6 p.m.