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...
ASHLAND — The Ashland High volleyball team avenged its first loss of the season in a big way Thursday, hammering Southern Oregon Hybrid 5A rival Eagle Point in three sets to even the three-match series at Mountain Avenue Gym.
The Grizzlies' 25-17, 25-20, 25-17 victory sets up a winner-take-all showdown between the two teams Oct. 25 in Eagle Point.
Ashland (5-5, 1-1 SOH) suffered a four-set loss at Eagle Point (2-10, 1-1) on Sept. 11, but had no trouble handling the Eagles this time. Sophomore setter Jordan Tilley had 31 assists and five of Ashland's 13 service aces, junior middle Madeline Wallace had 11 kills and two blocks and sophomore middle Hope Baldrica added seven kills and one block.
Also for the Grizzlies, senior outside Phoebe Challman had 16 digs, four kills and three aces.
Although the winner of the third meeting between the two teams will determine the SOH 5A champion, the league title this season will have no bearing on seeding for the state playoffs. The top 24 teams in the final OSAA power rankings will advance to state, with the top eight automatically qualifying for the round of 16.
ROSEBURG 3, NORTH MEDFORD 0 — At Roseburg, North Medford committed too many unforced errors and had a difficult time getting its offense going against Roseburg's stout defense as the Indians earned a 25-12, 25-14, 25-19 Southern Oregon Hybrid victory.
Junior middle hitter Elle Bixler paced the Black Tornado (8-6, 5-2 SOH) with nine kills and a pair of blocks while freshman outside hitter Emily Carter added six kills.
Black Tornado setter Telsche Munson had 18 assists and libero Ashley Smith logged 17 digs.
SOUTH MEDFORD 3, CRATER 0 — As a team South Medford splashed down 14 aces and reeled off a pair of big ace streaks to take down Crater, 25-13, 25-12, 25-19.
In addition to her eight kills and seven digs, the Panthers' Brittney Cox led her squad with six aces, five of which came consecutively in the opening set.
Setter Liz Devaughn kicked off the second set with four-straight aces for the Panthers (4-4, 3-4 SOH). She also had 32 assists and seven digs.
Grace Sporer added 22 digs and her sister, Claire Sporer, chipped in 11 digs and seven kills.
Libero Bailee Tally recorded 15 digs for Phoenix (11-4, 4-1 SC) in the losing effort.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 3, ILLINOIS VALLEY 0 — Cascade Christian had 19 aces as a team and the Challengers topped Illinois Valley, 25-12, 25-6, 25-16.
Mackenzie Kelton, Karlee Britton, Madigan Smith and Paige Bruce tallied three aces apiece for the Challengers (12-5, 4-0 Southern Cascade Hybrid), who received four kills from sophomore outside hitter Katelyn Smith.
The Challengers' Madigan Smith served the final six points of the second set.
LAKEVIEW 3 ROGUE RIVER 1 — At Rogue River, outside hitter Kourtney Moore recorded 40 digs and six kills in a 25-19, 25-19, 22-25, 25-15 losing effort for the Chieftains (1-11, 1-3 Southern Cascade Hybrid).
Middle Darby Gibson contributed eight kills.
ASHLAND 6, HENLEY 2 — At Klamath Falls, freshman midfielder Jessica Harrower scored four goals, two in each half, as Ashland took a 3-1 halftime lead in the nonconference tilt.
Harrower got Ashland (3-5) on the board in the sixth minute when she connected off a pass from senior forward Aspen Wolff.
Harrower added her second goal in the 22nd minute after senior forward Aspen Wolff capped a long run through half of Henley's defense with a last-second pass.
Harrower also connected on a corner kick in the opening minute of the second half to give Ashland a 4-1 cushion.
Henley fell to 1-6.