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...
NYSSA — Cascade Christian came up one victory short of reaching the Class 3A state tournament for the third straight year with a five-set loss to No. 5 Nyssa Saturday.
The Challengers (16-9) dropped the first-round state playoff contest, 18-25, 25-22, 25-17, 21-25, 15-10.
"We probably didn't play as well as we should have," said Cascade Christian coach Rob Kleker. "We came out hot in the first set but for whatever reason lost our groove and had trouble getting it back. They did a good job of keep us out of what we like to do."
Junior outside hitter Katelyn Smith excelled for the Challengers and registered a team-high 12 kills.
"She played the match of her life tonight," said Kleker. "She was hitting and passing the ball well and had a good all-around match."
Cascade received 10 kills from Trudy Burns and Karlee Britton provided nine kills and five blocks. Challenger libero Paige Bruce came up with 20 digs and pounded seven service aces.
Nyssa senior Katlyn Hashagen, a 6-foot-2 middle, created problems for the Challengers.
"They ran everything through her and she dominated for them," said Kleker.
In the decisive fifth set, Cascade was tied 7-all before the Bulldogs (19-6) went on an 8-3 run. The match ended when Hashagen put away an over pass.
"We got ourselves ready to play but couldn't find our rhythm after that first set," said Kleker. "We couldn't string enough of the little things together to get the victory."
HIDDEN VALLEY 3, ESTACADA 2 — At Murphy, Hidden Valley received double-doubles from middles Lacey Maynard and Chloe Lindgren in a 28-26, 21-25, 25-18, 15-25, 15-6 state playoff victory and advanced to the Class 4A state tournament for the fifth time in seven years.
Maynard had 19 kills and 14 blocks, while Lindgren contributed 11 kills and 12 blocks.
The third-ranked Mustangs (20-1) received a career-high 53 digs from libero Colleen Bailey.
Setter McKenzie Cushman had three aces — all in the final set — and served the first six points to give the Mustangs early momentum in the decisive fifth game. Cushman finished with 51 assists and seven kills.
JESUIT 3, GRANTS PASS 0 — At Portland, fourth-ranked Jesuit rolled to a 25-12, 25-10, 25-14 Class 6A state playoff second-round victory.
REGIS 48, ILLINOIS VALLEY 28 — At Cave Junction, Regis, the second-ranked Class 3A team, ran its record to 9-1 in the nonconference game.
Illinois Valley dropped to 6-5 overall. The Cougars play a state playoff game next week against an opponent to be determined.