All apologies to former South Medford standout Matt Retzlaff, who failed to get the recognition he was due last week after it was, in fact, his...
EAGLE POINT — South Medford talked about senior leadership, then got some in one of its most impressive wins of the season Thursday.
Two days after being swept by Ashland, the Panthers started strong and never let up in a 25-13, 26-24, 25-23 nonconference win over Eagle Point, at Eagle Point High School.
Claire Sporer had 13 kills, Brittney Cox 10 kills and 15 digs and Grace Sporer 41 digs and two aces for the Panthers (3-4), who snapped a three-match losing streak.
"I think we're back in the game at this point," South Medford coach Sarah Costa said. "I'm hoping we've turned a corner."
Hannah Morris had 13 assists, Kelly Brawner 16 digs and Taylor Bidwell 10 kills for the Eagles (2-8), who have lost seven in a row.
The Panthers struggled to get in a groove in Tuesday's loss to Ashland and had a lengthy team meeting afterward. Costa said the talk seems to have helped, and on Thursday seniors Cox, Bri Uperesa-Fidow and Bree Polk stepped up.
Uperesa-Fedow had four blocks and Polk added five kills, four blocks and two aces.
"They really did show up to be leaders tonight," Costa said. "They did the things they needed to do when it counted."
NORTH MEDFORD 3, GRANTS PASS 1 — Setter Telsche Munson had a monster match, tallying 41 assists, eight digs, four kills and three aces as North Medford bounced back from a first-set loss to earn the Southern Oregon Hybrid win, 27-29, 25-18, 25-16, 25-11 at North Medford High School.
Emily Carlson added 14 kills and four aces, Elle Bixler 14 kills and three blocks and Ashley Smith 15 digs for the Tornado, which has won four of its last five matches to improve to 7-4 overall and 3-1 in SOH play.
Grants Pass fell to 4-7 and 1-3.
Also for North, Kathleen Martin had four aces, three blocks and three kills.
ROSEBURG 3, ASHLAND 0 — At Ashland, Ashland's offense struggled going up against one of the state's most stout defenses in Class 6A Roseburg.
The Indians denied the Grizzlies (4-4) a fluent offensive rhythm, leading to Roseburg's 25-14, 25-19, 25-13 victory.
Indians star outside hitter Anna Bruns posted 10 kills and setter Vanessa Bentley contributed 23 assists and six aces.
Pele Gianotti added six kills and Stefanie Griggs four for Roseburg (17-3).
PHOENIX 3, HENLEY 0 — At Klamath Falls, Phoenix's cohesiveness on the court gave it the advantage to top Henley, 25-14, 25-8, 25-21 at Henley High.
Adriana Mereida-Ford had eight kills for the Pirates (4-1, 3-0 Skyline Conference), Hailey Wyncoop added seven while Baylee Toney tallied seven digs and three aces.
Pirate setters Karlie Richardson and Ashlyn Flynn both had 11 assists.
HIDDEN VALLEY 3, MAZAMA 0 — At Murphy, Hidden Valley received seven kills and seven blocks from Chloe Lindgren as the Mustangs earned a 25-15, 25-11, 25-8 win at Hidden Valley High.
Megan Combe logged nine kills, 10 digs and three aces for the Mustangs (4-2, 3-0 Skyline Conference).
Southern Cascade Hybrid
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 3, ST. MARY'S 0 — Karlee Britton ruled at the net as Cascade Christian rolled past St. Mary's 25-16, 25-23, 25-16 at Cascade Christian High School.
Britton posted 15 kills, giving credit to setter Kayla Winter and her 27-assist performance.
The Challengers (9-4, 2-0 Southern Cascade Hybrid) received six kills, five aces and 14 digs from Elise Gardner.
Defensive specialist Paige Bruce pushed the Challengers to rally late in the second set with five-straight points to put the Crusaders (6-6, 2-1 SCH) on the ropes with a 24-19 lead.
ROGUE RIVER 3, ILLINOIS VALLEY 0 — At Cave Junction, Rogue River grabbed control early in each of its sets in a 25-18, 25-16, 25-21 triumph at Illinois Valley High.
Defensive specialist Rylee Carter racked up 10 aces for the Chieftains (1-9, 1-2 Southern Cascade Hybrid) with Kourtney Moore going for eight kills and Darby Gibson chipping in seven.