LINCOLN CITY — A cross-county volleyball brawl at Taft High School last week provided a test bed for new talent and a showcase for seasoned players, according to coaches.
While the Lincoln County Jamboree — a four-way event between Taft, Toledo, Newport and Waldport held Aug. 30 — was unofficial and non-league, the competitiveness on display heated and emotions ran high.
Toledo entered the event with four key players missing from the roster by injury or temporary ineligibility, but the Boomers took the jam in stride, anyway.
“We competed well against every team,” asserted Boomers head coach Crystal Hinds, who said Toledo lost no athletes to graduation. “We’ll be able to build on what we started last year. With only eight games under our belt, I like what I see for the season.”
The Taft girls fell to Newport and Toledo but recovered with a win against Waldport. Tigers head coach Kelsey Hart said the jamboree allowed playing time for the whole team.
“We got to play with several different lineups and see what areas we still need to work on the most,” remarked Hart. “We had some hiccups in the beginning, but the girls kept a positive attitude and did a great job rolling with all of the lineup changes we had.”
Newport coach Vicky Roller was also optimistic after “dominating” victories over Waldport, Taft and Toledo. She credited two sophomore middle backs, Stella Barber and Rachel Smith, for controlling the net. She also cited the seasoned performances of senior Grace Hargett and junior McKenzie Kirchner as keys to the games ahead.
“Everything is clicking right now for the Newport,” said Roller. “The Cubs are looking excellent this year. We are expecting a successful season. This team has worked incredibly hard in the off season and we have made significant gains.”