A funny thing happened to Terry Rasmussen on his way toward retirement as a basketball coach.
First, he was pulled back in to serve as...
KLAMATH FALLS — Down two sets to none on the road, the Phoenix Pirates stormed back to pick up a huge Skyline Conference win Tuesday.
Adriana Mereida-Ford sparked a dramatic fourth-set comeback from the service stripe and Baylee Toney had 12 kills as Phoenix rallied for a 23-25, 18-25, 25-23, 27-25, 15-12 victory over Henley.
Mereida-Ford served the Pirates back from a 24-18 deficit in the fourth set and they pulled away late in the fifth to all but lock up second place in the Skyline with two league matches left to be played. Phoenix improved to 12-4 overall and 6-2 in league play, while Henley fell to 6-8 and 4-4.
"It was a pretty back-and-forth, really exciting match," Phoenix head coach Candace Fleener said.
Ashlynn Flynn had 30 digs, Karlie Richardson 45 assists and Sydney Amundsen nine kills and five blocks for the Pirates, who have won four matches in a row since dropping a five-set thriller to North Valley. Mereida-Ford added 10 kills.
Phoenix fought off six match points to keep its hopes alive in the fourth set.
"Definitely the fourth set is when things swung around," Fleener said.
Phoenix hosts Mazama on Thursday, travels to compete in the Marshfield tournament on Saturday and then wraps up its regular season at home against Hidden Valley on Tuesday.
NORTH VALLEY 3, KLAMATH UNION 0 — At Klamath Falls, senior setter Rashelle Garcia had 26 assists, senior libero Kady Kantola chipped in 22 digs and North Valley won, 25-23, 25-22, 25-17, in Skyline Conference action.
Haleigh Wagman went for 15 kills, 11 digs and four aces for the Knights (7-11, 4-4 Sky).
Areanna Thomas had seven kills and four blocks against Klamath Union (4-11, 0-8).
HIDDEN VALLEY 3, MAZAMA 0 — At Murphy, undefeated Hidden Valley took advantage of strong front line play from Lacey Maynard, Chloe Lindgren and Megan Combe en route to a 25-13, 25-8, 25-16 conference victory.
Maynard, a senior middle, paced the Mustangs (15-0, 8-0 Sky) with eight kills and six blocks. Lindgren added seven kills and six blocks and Combe contributed six kills, four aces and 22 digs.
Mustang setter Mckenzie Cushman dished out 23 assists and landed two aces.
Southern Oregon Hybrid
ROSEBURG 3, SOUTH MEDFORD 0 — At Roseburg, South Medford improved in each game but suffered a 25-8, 25-15, 25-20 loss to conference leader Roseburg (22-3, 8-0 SOH).
Senior outside Claire Sporer paced the Panther attack with six kills and 10 digs and Grace Sporer, a senior libero, came up with 12 digs.
Nicole Bell had four kills for South Medford (5-13, 1-7).
CRATER 3, EAGLE POINT 0 — At Eagle Point, Crater downed Eagle Point, 25-20, 25-11, 25-23, in nonleague action.
Paige Berriochoa provided three aces, four kills and one block and Nicole Davis had four aces and 11 assists for Crater (5-10).
Cassidy Layton chipped in three aces and eight assists and Kelli Gray had 12 digs against the Eagles (1-15).
GRANTS PASS 3, ASHLAND 2 — At Ashland, Grants Pass pulled out a 25-21, 20-25, 25-12, 18-25, 15-10 nonleague win over Ashland to improve to 11-6 overall.
Ashland dropped to 6-12 overall.
Southern Cascade Hybrid
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 3, ST. MARY'S 0 — Karlee Britton had eight kills, Trudy Burns added seven kills and Cascade Christian cruised to a 25-16, 25-12, 25-11 victory in Southern Cascade Hybrid play.
Alyssa Brown contributed 22 assists and nine aces and libero Paige Bruce was strong for the Challengers (13-6, 6-0 SCH), who can clinch the league crown with a victory over Lakeview on Thursday.
St. Mary's dropped to 6-12 overall and 2-5 in league.
ROGUE RIVER 3, ILLINOIS VALLEY 0 — At Cave Junction, Rogue River capitalized on effective serving and good court coverage in posting a 25-13, 25-8, 25-16 victory.
Junior setter Natalie Watkins paced the Chieftains (4-5, 3-3 SCH) from the service line with eight aces and Kortney Moore added seven.
Darby Gibson, a Rogue River senior middle, had a team-high seven kills.
Mountain Valley League
PROSPECT 3, BUTTE FALLS 0 — At Butte Falls, Alee Pinkerton showcased strong serving as Prospect won, 25-10, 26-24, 25-20, in Mountain Valley League action.
The senior was 19-for-20 serving — including eight straight points to open the match — with five aces for the Cougars (9-2, 7-1 MVL). She added five assists.
Middle blockers Taylor Bernhardt and Baley VanWormer combined for 27 digs, and Bernhardt chipped in four kills and four blocks against Butte Falls (1-11, 1-9).