Paisley volleyball’s remarkable season in which they reached the state playoffs for the first time in three decades came to an abrupt end in the opening round with a loss at Jordan Valley.
After placing third in the Mountain Valley League at the district championships, Paisley earned its way into the state tournament for the first time since 1989. The team’s draw of Jordan Valley in the opening round meant a lengthy all-day bus trip, 550 miles roundtrip, on Wednesday, Oct. 30.
Upon departure the Broncos were treated in grand style, the team bus receiving a police escort out of Paisley surrounded by well-wishers. Despite the great distance to Jordan Valley, Paisley supporters were numerous in the stands to cheer on the Broncos squad.
The games themselves were dominated by Jordan Valley, which showed fast feet on the floor and a strong ability to spike. Jordan Valley swept Paisley in straight sets, 25-10, 25-19, and 25-10 for a 3-0 win.
“The team played well, but it wasn’t their best game,” reflected Paisley Head Coach Shelley Leehmann. “Jordan Valley was a fast moving team, and we seemed to move just a little slower. Our serves weren’t consistent, and Jordan Valley had a couple of powerful hitters.”
Leehmann did note the excellent play of seniors Mia Milasinovic and Lattigo Norris, as well as sophomore Bridgette Williams. Telly Jimenez, Haleigh Freohlich, and Abigail Sanders were also noted for their strong serves in the match.
“Despite the loss, I’m proud of how far our team came this year,” added Leehmann. “In our league we were able to overcome every team except Rogue Valley Adventist Academy. The girls this year got along so well and each contributed their own skills to make a strong team.”
It was the culmination of years of work for Leehmann, who revived the defunct Paisley volleyball program four years ago. One senior on the team, Norris, was a freshman player on that first year, when the team went winless all season.
“I want to thank our fans for traveling so many miles to cheer us on,” said Leehmann. “Lake County has the best support group for our kids.”
While the host Jordan Valley team moves on in the state playoffs, the team did take consideration into the long trek made by Paisley, being courteous enough to feed the Paisley team after the game.
Paisley’s season ends at 14-9 overall, 7-6 in league play.