South Medford scrapped and clawed to stay with, and at one point ahead of, seventh-ranked Roseburg Thursday night.

South Medford scrapped and clawed to stay with, and at one point ahead of, seventh-ranked Roseburg Thursday night.

In the end, however, the Indians had enough in the tank to pull out a 25-16, 17-25, 16-25, 25-22, 15-12 victory over the Panthers in the Southwest Conference volleyball opener for both squads at the South Medford High gym.

Roseburg, behind the play of senior all-conference setter Anna Palotai, jumped out to a sizeable lead in Game 4, then held on to force a deciding fifth game.

"We battled at the end pretty well," said South Medford coach Adam Wagman. "We gave ourselves a chance in the fourth game, and that's the biggest thing."

Palotai was a thorn in the Panthers' side throughout the match.

"She set pretty well and really killed us with her swinging," said Wagman. "She had a bunch of kills and right when they needed a point she seemed to always get them a kill."

South Medford (5-2, 0-1 SWC) used strong passing and serve receive to jump out to a 2-1 edge in games.

After the Indians went up 13-12 in Game 2, South got a sideout to tie and Sara George served up four straight points to hand the Panthers the lead for good.

South Medford cruised to a 13-1 advantage in the fourth game and were never threatened.

"We started passing better and playing with a lot more energy," said Wagman. "We also started serving a lot better, which was big."

But Roseburg turned to its veteran leadership to pull out the final two games.

Kinzie Towry led South Medford with 14 kills and six aces, while Tori Glover had four blocks.

GRANTS PASS 3, SOUTH EUGENE 1 — At Eugene, Grants Pass picked up its serving consistency in the fourth game to pull away for a 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 25-14 victory.

The Cavers (4-0, 1-0 SWC) jumped out to a 4-0 lead and fired five of their seven total aces in Game 4.

Chelsey Chamberlain racked up 12 kills and 10 aces for Grants Pass, which received 36 assists and seven kills from sophomore setter Monica Jordan.

Grants Pass junior designated server Cami Bennett notched 10 digs, Bekah Holman added 10 kills and middle hitter Mikaela Zottala chipped in with five blocks, seven kills and committed just one hitting error.

Southern Sky

ASHLAND 3, MAZAMA 0 — At Klamath Falls, senior Sammy Gilbert had eight kills and four aces to lead Ashland to a 25-14, 25-17, 25-9 win over Mazama.

Hannah Stocking added six kills, while Heidi Siebenlist had 12 assists. Dana Saladoff had 12 digs for the Grizzlies (3-2, 2-0 Southern Sky).

CRATER 3, EAGLE POINT 0 — At Central Point, Reanne Allen had 17 digs to help Crater sweep Eagle Point, 25-21, 25-13, 25-20.

Alana Harding also turned in a strong performance with six kills and six blocks, while Breanne Reavis had six kills for the Comets (1-3, 1-1 Southern Sky).

For Eagle Point (1-1), Ellery Kaiser had 11 assists, Ashley Josephson added four aces and four kills, Katie Jolifse turned in seven kills, and Marsha Devaughn had 12 digs.

Sunset League

CASCADE CHRISTIAN 3, GOLD BEACH 0 — At Gold Beach, Cascade Christian defeated Gold Beach, 25-12, 25-13, 25-12, in the Sunset League match.

Junior Hannah Brewster had 14 digs for Cascade Christian (7-2, 3-0 Sunset) while sophomore Becca Sellers had 14 kills, seven digs and four aces. In the third game, Sellers went on an 8-0 serving run that finished the game.

Senior Erika Thorpe also chipped in with 22 assists and three aces.

Nonconference

KLAMATH UNION 3, ROGUE RIVER 0 — At Klamath Falls, Klamath Union took down Rogue River in three games, 25-14, 25-13, 25-12.

The Pelicans come to Medford Saturday for the Rogue Valley Classic.