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North's quickness KOs Crater

Crater's giant front line gave North Medford some problems Tuesday night but the Black Tornado used its superior quickness and athleticism to post a 15-9, 15-7 Southern Oregon Conference volleyball victory.

The host Tornado trailed 9-6 in the first game when coach Ron Beick took a timeout and instructed his team to vary its attack.

We talked about working around their big middle blockers and mixing up the speed of our hits, said Beick, whose team improved to 4-1 in the SOC and 10-2 overall. We wanted to be a little more unpredictable.

The strategy worked. North sprayed the ball to different areas of the court, used a couple of dink shots for a change of pace and -- behind the serving of Mandie Horn and Anna Happel -- rattled off nine straight points to take the first game.

The Tornado then dominated the second game as it jumped to leads of 9-1 and 12-5 before the Comets could catch their breath.

North Medford is a team that can make you look bad and that's what they did to us, Crater coach Leaf Jensen said. We passed poorly and our blocking was off, but North's quickness had something to do with it.

Senior outside hitter Kristin Ferris led the Tornado with seven kills, eight digs, three blocks and a .429 kill percentage. Middle blocker Lacey Dalton added five kills, two digs and one block and outside hitter Ali Mostue had six kills, five digs and one block.

For Crater, defensive specialist Lindsey Perry had six points from the service line including two aces, while Jamie Caster had seven kills and three blocks.

The Comets fell to 3-2 in SOC play.

GRANTS PASS 15-15, EAGLE POINT 8-5 -- Jill Cohen had seven kills and Madri Scott added six as Grants Pass racked up its first victory of the season, improving to 1-5 overall and 1-4 in the SOC.

ASHLAND 15-7-15, KLAMATH UNION 6-15-11 --At Klamath Falls, Ashland held off a late rally by the Pelicans to win the third game and the match.

Ashland jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the third game, but the Pelicans pulled within three points (13-10) before the Grizzlies secured the win.

Klamath Union was led by Jennifer Crowder with 30 assists, Kristina Matchett with 11 kills, Kaylene Muson with nine kills and Dani Dobey with 10 digs.

ROSEBURG 15-15, SOUTH MEDFORD 9-8 --South Medford played SOC-leading Roseburg fairly tough considering the Panthers were without their two leading hitters -- senior Nicole Munoz and junior Crystal Petersen.

Munoz has been sidelined for the past two weeks with a foot injury while Petersen missed her first match of the season with a shoulder injury.

Jamie Barlay and Kristin Russell each had six kills and Lynn Wooten added four blocks for the Panthers, who fell to 1-4 in the SOC and 3-6 overall.