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...
EAGLE POINT — Ashland assured itself of a spot in the Class 5A postseason with a four-set victory over Eagle Point in the rubber match Thursday of their Southern Oregon Hybrid series.
Ashland, getting a monstrous performance out of sophomore setter Jordan Tilley, won the third league meeting between the two, 25-18, 25-13, 25-27, 25-17.
In splitting the first matchups, each team won at home. Ashland broke that trend to claim the league title and now faces a state play-in game on Tuesday against an opponent and at a site to be determined based on state power rankings.
Tilley had 44 assists, five kills and four service aces.
"She really led us on the court," said Grizzlies coach Robin Akpan. "She was everywhere."
Tilley have service runs of seven points in each of the first two sets.
After dropping the third set, the Grizzlies (12-9) led throughout in the fourth.
"Everybody on the team contributed so much tonight," said Apkan. "Everyone stepped up and contributed, putting balls away and digging balls. Our entire team played well."
Junior middle hitter Madeline Wallace notched 15 kills and five blocks, senior outside hitter Shelby Minor had 17 kills, 10 digs and two aces and senior outside hitter Phoebe Challman recorded 17 digs and three kills.
Eagle Point ended the season with a 6-14 record.
GRANTS PASS WINS — Grants Pass earned its way into the Class 6A state playoffs with five-set victories over Crater and South Medford to break a three-way tie for third place in the Southern Oregon Hybrid.
South Medford hosted the matches and received an opening-round bye because it had the higher state power ranking.
Grants Pass defeated Crater 26-24, 24-26, 25-14, 23-25, 15-9.
It followed with another marathon against the Panthers, winning 15-25, 25-23, 26-28, 25-22, 15-9.
Grants Pass (7-13) joins Roseburg and North Medford with spots in the 32-team Class 6A state bracket. South Medford (8-13) and Crater (9-13) have play-in games Saturday in the hopes of joining them. Opponents and venues have not been determined.
For Crater in its match against Grants Pass, senior middle Melanie Dengler had 15 kills and four blocks, sophomore setter Kelsey Strous had 39 assists, junior libero Kelli Grey had 27 digs and senior defensive specialist Maddie Layton had 25 digs.
CRATER 1, EAGLE POINT 0 — At Central Point, Abby Gray scored off a free kick in the 50th minute to give Crater its first win of the season.
Gray booted the ball in off the post from about 20 yards away to help the Comets (1-11-1), who end their season Saturday against Ashland.
Crater goalkeeper Olivia Ryerson made two tough saves early.