It’s an experiment that has true benefit and merit, but also one with a big hill to climb before permanent implementation throughout...
If it worked one time, South Medford figured why not do it again during Saturday's Class 6A volleyball play-in match with Centennial.
The Panthers played a solid all-around match and upended the Eagles for the second year in the play-in round with a 25-13, 25-11, 20-25, 25-17 triumph at South Medford High.
"They just came out with nothing to lose and they played really consistently," South Medford head coach Sarah Costa said of the Panthers. "A couple of the seniors really stepped up and we had a lot less unforced errors today, too."
Senior Bree Polk had 10 kills and three aces and junior Molli Calhoun added 10 kills to power a very potent middle attack by the Panthers (9-13). Junior setter Liz DeVaughn doled out 48 assists, with senior outside hitter Brittney Cox joining junior Claire Sporer in recording eight kills. Senior Brie Fidow added seven kills and joined Cox with two aces apiece.
"For the most part we just had really good ball control today," said Costa. "We took what (DeVaughn) set really well and we weren't letting them really kill any balls at any point. It was pretty nice because we were able to pick up pretty much everything they gave us."
Saturday's win returns the Panthers to the state playoffs, with Wednesday's opponent still to be determined by the final Class 6A power rankings.
CRATER 3, ALOHA 0 — At Aloha, Paige Berriochoa had 11 kills and two blocks and Destiny Fahndrich added nine kills and three aces in Crater's 25-18, 25-13, 25-21 Class 6A state play-in win.
Megan Funderburk turned in six kills and three blocks, Kelsey Strouse 24 assists, Amanda Hill and Maddie Layton 10 digs apiece and Katie Britton three aces for the Comets (10-13), who will next play in a first-round state playoff match on Wednesday.
Aloha finishes 7-15.
HIDDEN VALLEY 3, TILLAMOOK 1 — At Murphy, Hidden Valley neutralized Tillamook's big hitters with junior middles Lacey Maynard and Chloe Lindgren in posting a 27-25, 25-21, 20-25, 29-27 Class 4A play-in victory.
Maynard had 18 blocks and 16 kills, while Lindgren provided 11 blocks and seven kills
Megan Combe and Cameron Allen combined for 18 kills and four aces for the Mustangs (14-6).
Hidden Valley received 43 assists from sophomore setter McKenzie Cushman and libero Alex Folgherater came up with 53 digs.
SCH TOURNAMENT — Lakeview was able to eliminate St. Mary's from playoff contention but the Honkers couldn't get past Cascade Christian to claim the top seed to the Class 3A state playoffs in action at Cascade Christian High.
Lakeview opened the day's schedule with a 25-14, 25-17, 27-25 victory over St. Mary's in an elimination battle between the Nos. 2-3 teams in the SCH. The Crusaders (9-11) received nine kills from Nina Console and a few good service runs by Dakota Rothfus but it wasn't enough to extend their season.
With a playoff spot locked up, the Honkers went in search of the SCH's No. 1 seed but the regular-season champion Challengers didn't flinch in securing a 25-19, 19-25, 25-16, 25-9 triumph.
Karlee Britton had 12 kills, Elise Gardner added eight kills and eight aces and Kayla Winter notched 36 assists to pace Cascade Christian (18-5). Mackenzie Kelton chipped in seven kills and four aces and Courtney Case had 25 digs and three aces as the Challengers managed 19 aces overall.
MVL TOURNAMENT — At Paisley, Prospect topped Trinity Lutheran in straight sets to earn a shot at the No. 1 seed to the state playoffs out of the Mountain Valley League but fell short in the finale against Hosanna Christian.
The Cougars opened the district tournament with a 25-11, 25-14, 25-11 victory over Trinity Lutheran but couldn't quite seal the deal against regular-season champion Hosanna Christian, which topped Prospect 25-15, 25-17, 25-16.
Prospect (18-5) will enter the Class 1A state playoffs on Wednesday as the No. 2 seed from the MVL, while Hosanna Christian (21-5) retains the No. 1 spot.
Against Trinity, Heather Lass had 10 kills and 17 assists, Alee Pinkerton had seven aces and Prospect got 16 digs apiece from Miranda Hedgpeth and Haylee VanWormer. Lass and Taylor Bernhardt were named to the all-tournament team.