VALE — Earlier this week, on Monday, September 13, the Vale High School volleyball team remained in Vale for a home game against La Grande High School. The two teams met for the last non-league match that the Vikings will be able to play before entering into conference competition. The Vikings were able to seal the victory in shutout fashion, 3-0. The Vikings were able to win the first set in a close fight, 25-21. Although, they were able to improve on their first set, and continued to maintain that improvement in the third set, winning both sets 25-18.

“I was very pleased with their serving and their defense. It was a great game to lead us into the beginning of league, starting Thursday [with Nyssa],” stated head coach Shannon Steele as she continued to mention, “It was a great night to be on our home court, all players played extremely well.”

As mentioned by Coach Steele, the Vikings served “extremely” well throughout the game versus La Grande. Senior Lexi Cleaver led the vikings in the serving category by going 100%, 15 for 15, in addition to earning three aces. Sophomore Jojo Cleaver wasn’t too far behind by serving 100%, as well. She managed to serve 14 for 14, in addition to serving two aces. Additionally, senior Jessi Arriola was another Viking that was able to serve 100% on the night, nine for nine, along with serving two aces.

Defensively, the Vikings were able to hold La Grande High School to a limited amount of opportunities, in order to achieve their shutout victory. They were able to improve as the night went on, never letting the Tigers score more than they did in the previous set. The defensive contribution was led by senior Taleah Zueger, who was able to accumulate a total of 22 digs on the night. She was followed by L. Cleaver, who was able to add 14 more digs to the team’s total. Additionally, junior Ali Aldred managed to earn a total of 12 digs of her own, bringing the total between the three athletes to 48 digs.

Offensively, L. Cleaver continued to add to her personal stats by earning a total of 11 kills on the night. She was followed by J. Cleaver who managed to earn seven kills of her own. Senior Kailey McGourty was able to score a total of six kills in the match, in addition to sophomore Brogan Payne, who managed to earn three kills to add to the team’s total.

Aldred was able to spread the ball all over the court in the game versus La Grande by accumulating a high total of 31 assists on the night, allowing the Vikings to have multiple scoring opportunities.

The Vikings will continue their season by entering league play, where they will take on the Nyssa Bulldogs for their first conference game of the year. The Vikings will host the competition, which will be held on Thursday, September 16, at 6 p.m.

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