Athletic directors at the Class 5A level have proven to be the most invested in controlling their own playoff destiny since a switch to the...
North Medford used a strong middle attack and took advantage of unforced errors by South Medford to sweep a Southern Oregon Hybrid volleyball match between the two rivals.
The Black Tornado (7-5, 3-1, SOH) won 25-11, 25-14, 26-24. South Medford dropped to 4-6 and 1-3.
Junior middle blocker Elle Bixler paced North with a dozen kills and three blocks. Freshman outside hitter Emily Carter added five kills.
"We were playing well for the most part," said Tornado coach Erika Wright. "They were struggling a little bit more on their first serves than they would have liked. Their unforced errors kept the momentum swinging our way. Our middle attack really changed the game, especially in the first two games."
Game 3 was a different story. The Panthers took an early lead but couldn't shake North.
"It ended up being a battle of point for point," said Wright.
Senior libero Ashley Smith had 14 digs and three service aces in the win, senior outside Emily Carlson added three kills and nine digs and junior outside hitter Keisha Williams had three kills and five digs.
"We have some kids rotating in and out and doing a really good job of sticking with it and being real aggressive when they have the opportunity to play," said Wright.
For South Medford, Grace Sporer notched 22 digs, Bree Polk had four kills and Liz DeVaughn recorded 14 assists.
CRATER 3, GRANTS PASS 2 — At Central Point, Crater edged Grants Pass 25-17, 25-23, 21-25, 27-29, 15-10 in SOH play.
Freshman outside hitter Destiny Fahndrich turned in 26 kills, Maddie Layton 24 digs, Kelsey Strouse 36 assists and Katie Britton four aces for the Comets (5-6, 2-3 SOH).
ROSEBURG 3, EAGLE POINT 0 — At Eagle Point, Roseburg got 11 kills from Anna Bruns in winning the nonconference match, 25-14, 25-19, 25-12.
Kiana Cash served four aces for the Indians (18-3 overall), and Pele Gianotti had three blocks.
For Eagle Point (2-9), Kelly Brawner had 13 digs, Janelle Rodgers 10 digs, Hannah Morris 10 assists and Taylor Bidwell five kills.
PHOENIX 3, MAZAMA 0 — At Phoenix, freshmen Haleigh Wagman and Karlie Richardson garnered 13 kills and 15 assists, respectively, to power Phoenix in the Skyline match, 25-22, 25-23, 25-17.
Wagman also went 15-for-17 at the service stripe with two aces, while Hailey Wyncoop added seven kills and Delanie Tally nine assists for the Pirates (5-1, 4-1 Skyline). Ashlyn Flynn was 14-for-15 on serves with two aces.
Mazama (5-6, 1-3) has lost four straight.
HIDDEN VALLEY 3, NORTH VALLEY 1 — At Merlin, North Valley battled tough but dropped a 25-18, 18-25, 25-20, 27-25 home decision to its Josephine County rival.
ST. MARY'S 3, ILLINOIS VALLEY 0 — At Cave Junction, senior outside hitter Nina Console had a big match at the net as St. Mary's won 25-13, 25-17, 25-17 in SCH play.
Console pounded 14 kills, while setter Madeline Gregg dished out 19 assists.
Hannah Graunke served 12 straight points for the Crusaders (7-6, 3-1 SOH) in the second game.
The Cougars are 0-9 and 0-3.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 3, LAKEVIEW 0 — At Lakeview, Cascade Christian's MacKenzie Kelton had nine kills and three blocks and Elise Gardner added six kills in the Challengers' 25-19, 25-23, 25-22 win in SCH play.
Courtney Case turned in 23 digs and Kayla Winter added 26 assists for Cascade Christian (11-5, 3-0 SCH).
Lakeview dropped to 7-4 and 1-2.
CHILOQUIN 3, ROGUE RIVER 1 — At Rogue River, Chiloquin won the nonconference match, 25-18, 25-20, 23-25, 25-8.
For Rogue River (1-8 overall), Ariana Lee had 11 kills and Kortney Moore chipped in six.