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Storm volleyball team loses to Clackamas in 4 sets

By Ian Gerig

Sometimes it’s just attitude that wins you games.

That’s something the Chemeketa volleyball team learned recently after losing a home game against the Clackamas Cougars 3-1.

Things started off well for the Storm, which won the first set 25-16 while never surrendering the lead to the visiting Cougars.

Traci Stephenson, Chemeketa’s head coach, knew exactly where the Storm needed to hit the ball to take advantage of the defense.

“They play a different defense,” she said, “so the back left is just more open on the court.”

Chemeketa certainly hit that spot hard and came away with the win in a set that saw the Storm outscore its opponents 7-3 in two separate 10-point stretches.

The second set started as a back-and-forth affair, with the lead never reaching more than a single point until the 20th serve.

After being down 13-9, Clackamas charged back to within a point before eventually outpacing Chemeketa and winning the second set 26-24.

It was then that the Storm began to falter.

Following a serve that didn’t go over the net, freshmen DS Marandah Boeder was called to a quick meeting with assistant coach Adam Ellis.

“He basically said that I needed to step up as a leader and start being positive for my team,” Boeder said.

At that point, things went terribly wrong for Chemeketa, which proceeded to give up 6 straight points to the Clackamas attack in route to losing the set 25-15.

Boeder said that a lack of teamwork between her and her teammates was to blame for the Clackamas run.

“I think it was just a team thing. We weren’t playing as a team, and we just went our separate ways and did our own thing,” she said.

Stephenson concurred.

“Clackamas stayed positive and upbeat, while we took ourselves out of the game,” she said.

After Clackamas took the 2-1 lead, Chemeketa’s student section began to get loud and helped urge the team to an early 3-1 lead in the fourth set. Play started with a bullet from Hawaiian sophomore Leenell Hernandez that glanced off a Clackamas player for a point.

The set was exciting throughout, with Clackamas never holding a lead of more than four points. Three points, however, was all that was needed for the Cougars, which took the set 25-22.

This marked the second straight loss for the Storm, which is now 4-3 in league play and 17-10 overall.

Stephenson was not dwelling on the loss but instead said she was looking forward to the next match.

“We will be working on a lot of the stuff from tonight’s game, … and then we’ll just keeping plugging away doing what we do and we’ll be at the NWACs at some point,” she said.

Boeder said that to finish the year strong, the team needed to keep a healthy attitude.

“We just need to regroup, figure it out, and work harder next time,” she said.

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