Raiders win first round in tournament
Stronger, faster, better Raiders show what they are made of
November 22, 2017
From the start of the game the Raiders showed they meant business. #2 Julia Heronema, an outside hitter, dominated the court with repeat power hits. Two minutes in to the game and the score stood at 12-2.
#12 Allie Bauer, team setter, seemed to have the skill of a seeker. When the Saints (Mt. Hood) sent the ball over the net, more often than not Bauer would be there to either set it up for a power hit or just send it back.
The Raiders would win the game 25-10.
The Saints caught their rhythm in the second game. Nearly every point the Raiders gained, the Saints answered. Three minutes in and the score was tied 14-14. For the rest of the game each side fought point for point, keeping the score tied.
When the score reached 20-20, the Saints managed to gain the upper hand, winning 25-23.
In the third game, Raiders again scored almost immediately, but the Saints answered right back, tying the score 3-3.
Then the Raiders suffered a reversal of fortune. They continued to fight to get ahead, but the Saints defense would knock them down, gaining the lead at 12-6.
Then the Raiders sent a combination of power hits and sneak attacks, bringing the score to 17-11. They held their ground, slowly closing the gap to 20-18.
Despite the Raiders’ best efforts, the Saints had a few sneak attacks of their own. They won 25-19.
The Raiders started the fourth game with fresh energy. They haven’t made it passed the first round in the tournament in 3 years and today they were determined to change that.
The Saints also came in the game with fresh energy. Both teams answered point for point, but eventually the Raiders were able to score just enough to stay 2-3 points ahead of the Saints, ending the game at 25-20.
The Raiders kept the energy going into game five. They needed to win it if they wanted to stay alive. Otherwise it would be the survival round later that day if they were to stay in the tournament.
Again, they wasted no time in scoring, but the Saints weren’t about to let them get comfortable. Both teams wanted this win bad.
The Raiders kept finding holes in the Saints’ court, but the Saints never let up the pressure, staying just a few points behind.
But the Raiders never lost their lead and would win the game 15-12.
At the end of the game the coach, Greg Finel, was proud of his team. “It was a great opportunity for the players to show what they are capable of. Great champions get knocked down, but then get right back up,” he said.
When asked what made this team different than other years, his answer came without hesitation. “They play for each other. They look out for each other. They care about each other. It makes a difference,” Finel said.