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With one hit on the outside, with one penalty kick, two wins for Sunset, two losses for Jesuit. The games that shocked the district. When all was said and done, a single chant rose from the crowds, “public school takeover, public school takeover” was screamed with all the frustration and anger that Jesuit’s reign has put on us. These two games meant the world to not only the players in the game, but to the defeated public schools before us.
“The strategy for playing against Jesuits was to attack them with everything we got, but at the same time drop back and leave space to defend.” reported Sunset’s star goalie, Bridgette Skiba.
Known for their rough offense, Jesuit’s women’s soccer team was one of the toughest teams in Oregon being ranked #1. But it was Sunset’s tactful defense and our kick-ass goalie that pushed through and landed us with a tie when the countdown ended. Thus, it all came down to the penalty kicks. One by one, Sunset and Jesuit faced off, until Sunset had Jesuit on the run. In one swift save, Skiba won the last penalty kick and the win was ours.
“After the game, everyone rushed to the field.” Skiba reflected, “It was like a fairytale ending.”
While the women’s soccer game was about glory, the Sunset’s volleyball win was about respect. To add some background to the game, Jesuit’s team has been ranked first in metro for the past six years and they have always been ranked nationally as well. Their last loss was back in 2010. With this win, a 1000th day winning streak was broken and a new hope for public school athletics was born.
“Our win showed everyone watching that we were the team that was strong enough to take Jesuit down, despite their insane winning streak.” said Paige Elkins, a senior middle blocker on Sunset’s team.
With a final outside hit, Sunset takes the win from Jesuit and advances to the next round of play-offs. The game started out rough for Sunset, having lost the first two sets. As someone who experienced the game first hand, the atmosphere was always intense. Despite having a rough start, Sunset knew what needed to be done and had the skill to achieve it.
“The Jesuit game was proof that we are capable of playing at a level we may not have known we were capable of.” said sophomore setter Paige Monaghan. “It was a showcase of all our work, effort, and sacrifices, and most of all, a showcase of a team that never gives up and plays for each other.”
According to the team, this win was not only for them. This win was for the Sunset teams that played Jesuit generations before, all denying them a win. Many of the players have older siblings that fought before them and continue to keep watch how Sunset’s volleyball team evolves over the years.
“For me, this win was special because both my sisters played volleyball at Sunset and neither of them had ever beaten them, so it was awesome to get that win for them.” said senior outside Emily Demots. “The icing on the cake was having my oldest sister, Anna [out assistant coach], on the bench being a part of the victory as well.”
While it has been 5 years since Jesuits lost to any public school, it’s been 13 years since they lost to Sunset. This fact alone makes one realize that any team can be beaten and nobody is indestructible. Jesuit is a great school for those who have money, want an elite education, and get recognized by colleges for your athletic achievements. But Sunset is a great school for different reason, included our passion as a team and willingness to struggle together to achieve our goals.