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Crusaders hold own in jamboree

Prep volleyball

ASHLAND -- St. Mary's High may have been the smallest school at the Ashland jamboree Saturday, but the Crusaders didn't back down from anyone.

St. Mary's, a Class 2A school, knocked off Class 4A opponents South Medford (15-12) and Grants Pass (15-10) and added a win over Del Norte, Calif., (15-10) in the single-game format. The Crusaders lost to Ashland (15-8) and to Crater (15-3).

Middle blockers Becky Naumes and Kristen Zielony and outside hitter Maren Zielony all had productive days at the net, St. Mary's coach James Joy said.

Our blocking was solid all day -- Becky and Kristen were huge at the net, Joy said.

We had that deer in the headlights look a couple of times but for the most part we stood toe-to-toe with the bigger schools.

Ashland and Crater each won four of five matches. Crater's only loss was to the Grizzlies, while Ashland's lone setback was a 15-12 decision to South Medford.

South Medford also lost to Grants Pass and Crater and defeated Del Norte.

YREKA TOURNAMENT -- At Yreka, Calif., Phoenix defeated the host team 15-6, 15-12 for a third-place finish in the tournament.

Pirate Colleen Gunn was selected to the all-star team and coach Tom Murphy praised the net play of Sutton Jackson and Beth Nikodym, adding that Tera Kirk had an outstanding tournament as a defensive specialist.

GLENDALE TOURNAMENT -- At Glendale, the excellent play of defensive specialist Maria Stutzman and hitters Shelley Prier and Natalie Peck helped Cascade Christian reach the semifinals of the seven-team event. The Challengers lost to Camas Valley 15-3 and 15-9 in the semifinals.

Cascade Christian opened championship round play with a 15-12, 13-15, 10-7 victory over Days Creek. In the third game, rally scoring -- where a team scores regardless if it is serving or not -- was used.

In pool play, the Challengers defeated Prospect 15-4 and 15-8, then split a pair of games with Elkton (12-15, 15-13) and Glendale (6-15, 15-6).

LAPINE TOURNAMENT -- At LaPine, Gilchrist went 5-1 in pool play and then defeated LaPine junior varsity 15-5, 15-3 and LaPine varsity 15-13, 15-8 in bracket play for the tournament championship.

Bambi Meeker and Lacie DePue were selected to the tournament all-star team for the Grizzlies. Meeker had seven service points, including four aces in bracket play.

SOUTH UMPQUA INVITATIONAL -- At Tri City, Douglas High of Winston defeated Rogue River 15-8, 12-15, 15-10 to win the eight-team South Umpqua Invitational.

Leading the Chieftains in the final match were Rebecca Grinde with 11 digs, Amber Goodwin with nine kills, three ace serves, and four stuff blocks, Melissa Badley with six kills and four stuff blocks, and Mindi Yost with five kills.