Bulldogs push Viks to 4 sets

VALE – When the Nyssa and Vale volleyball teams take the court to face the other, records do not matter. Ranking do not matter. In reality, the home court makes little difference.

It is just always a battle.

This was the case as the Vikings and Bulldogs met Thursday, October 10 on the court in Vale. Both teams were coming off a sweep weekend where each downed the teams of Umatilla, Irrigon and Riverside. The Vikings has also beaten Burns on Tuesday while the Bulldogs were forced to five sets against Adrian. Truly, a busy week of volleyball for both.

The Viks stormed out in game one, taking the lead early and never letting up. Leading by as many as eight points at one point, Vale cruised to a 25-17 victory.

Nyssa played close in the early part of game two, trading point for point. The Viks pulled out to a five-point lead midway in the second set and walked through the second half of the set for a 25-18 win.

With the exception of two early ties in the third set, Nyssa ruled. Exciting the visiting fans from Bulldog country, Nyssa continued to pour on the points and walked off the court with a 25-17 victory.

The Bulldogs looked to continue in game four, leading early on by as many as five points. The Vikings fought back to knot up the score at ten points each. The teams traded the lead throughout, finally ending up with 24 points each. Vale took a one point lead at 25-24 only to have Nyssa tie up the score again. Nyssa led 26-25 with Vale returning the favor and tying up the score at 26. The Viks took the next point and as Lexi Cleaver stood at the service line to serve, an ace by Cleaver closed out the match for the Vikings at 28-26.

Watch the last four exciting points of the match here.

“I was impressed with the tenacity showed by Nyssa tonight,” said Vale coach Shannon Steele. “Nyssa stayed in the game and their defense was good. I was impressed with the play of their libero, Syriah Trujillo.”

Steele admitted the week had taken a toll on the Vikings with the array of matches and homecoming activities.

“That is not an excuse,” Steele said. “We have to be ready to play like we know we can at any time. But, you could see we were tired in the third set.”

As a team, the Vikings served at 93 percent with Alissa Fulwyler, Emmersyn Johnson, Isabelle Phillips, Sierra Cleaver and Taleah Zueger having a perfect night from the service line.

The offense was led by Jaymeson Jensen, Demia Hardin and Johnson, all with seven kills. Maycee Delong added 26 assists. Delong also had six digs with Johnson adding nine digs.