GLIDE — The Glide High School volleyball team spotted Pleasant Hill a one-game lead in their Mountain Valley Conference opener Tuesday night.

But the Wildcats righted the ship, prevailed in a tight second game and continued on to keep their record unblemished, winning 25-27, 27-25, 25-8, 25-15.

Glide improved to 8-0 overall under Misti-Kae Bucich, who’s in her second stint as the head coach. Formerly Misti Filley, the 1995 Roseburg graduate guided the Wildcats from 2006-08.

Bucich expected a challenge from the Billies (6-3), who were swept by Glide in a best-of-three title match Saturday at the Oakridge Tournament.

“I knew Pleasant Hill would be hungry and aggressive, and I think we came out lethargic and weren’t communicating,” Bucich said. “But we made some adjustments. When we started playing as a team, things started falling into place.

“Our girls started having fun, and they built on that momentum. When we do that I think we’re amazing.”

With seven seniors and three juniors on their roster, the Wildcats feature experience, size and talent.

“We just weren’t talking in the first game,” said Glide’s Sierra Mauro, who finished with 24 kills on the night. “I think we came out in the wrong mindset. But we realized they were here for a good game until we stepped it up. When we come together as a team we can really do anything.”

McKya Filley, who added 12 kills in the victory, agreed it was a slow start for the Wildcats.

“We just knew we could beat them, and needed to come back and play how we know we can play,” she said. “We brought our energy up in the second game.”

“Our energy was super low. In the second set we realized they showed up to play, and now we need to show up to play and show them what we have — what Glide is all about,” added Piper Kaul. “We communicated and really came together as a team.”

Kaul finished with 45 assists and five aces.

“I was very proud of our scrappy defense and ball control at first contact,” coach Bucich said.

The Wildcats have high hopes after advancing to the OSAA Class 3A tournament last year under Rebecca Dancer. Glide lost to Coquille in the fourth-place game, finishing 19-7 on the season.

Mauro (6-foot) and Filley (6-0), the daughter of the coach, were first-team all-league selections as juniors. Kaul (5-8) received honorable mention.

The other seniors on the club are Kaylee Short (5-7), Grace Tester (6-0), Jordan Anderson (6-0) and Kylie Merlino (5-7). They’re joined by juniors Allison Michel (5-6), Madison Malek (5-5) and Whitney Stone (5-8).

Sophomores Mashayla Belloir (5-5) and Johanna Pope (5-10) are swing players for the Wildcats.

“Our goal is to get to state, and hopefully win,” Mauro said. “If we work hard enough, we have the athletes to do it. We’ve all played together since the fifth grade, and I think we have a lot of potential.”

“We have all the right tools to go really far at state, and I think we will,” McKya Filley said. “I like how everyone loves each other. We’re a family.”

Kaul is optimistic as well.

“I just like the chemistry we all have together,” she said. “All our girls are super dedicated, too.”

The Wildcats, who were ranked No. 2 in the 3A power rankings behind Cascade Christian (14-0) late Tuesday, resume MVC play Thursday against Harrisburg.

“I expect them to show up every single match and not ever underestimate their opponent and keep getting better,” Misti Bucich said.

Sports Editor Tom Eggers can be reached at 541-957-4220 or email teggers@nrtoday.com

Tom Eggers is the sports editor for The News-Review. He can be reached at 541-957-4220 or by email at teggers@nrtoday.com.

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