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Tornado avenges loss to Roseburg 15-5, 15-13

ROSEBURG -- Not only did North Medford learn from an earlier season home volleyball loss to Roseburg, but the Black Tornado rectified the deficiency.

The Black Tornado demonstrated a big improvement defensively on Tuesday as No. — North Medford avenged its only Southern Oregon Conference loss with a 15-5 and 15-13 victory over the Indians.

Since the first match with Roseburg our focus has been on defense, to read the hitters and see the hitter's options, North Medford coach Ron Beick said. Tonight we didn't allow them to get very many of their chips and offspeed shots down.

The victory puts North (17-3, 8-1 SOC) in the driver's seat in the SOC as eighth-ranked Roseburg suffered its second conference loss.

Like in the first match between the top two teams in the SOC, North Medford won the first game. But unlike the the earlier contest, the Black Tornado kept the pressure on.

The second game was a testament to both teams playing some strong volleyball, said Beick. Both teams were attacking the ball effectively. It wasn't a case of people making errors. It was point for point all the way through..

North's middle hitters Ali Piff and Lacy Dalton provided some key execution to end the match in the second game.

After the Indians closed to 13-12 in the final game, North got the sideout on a kill by Piff. Then Dalton produced a kill to give the Black Tornado a 14-12 lead.

Roseburg inched back to 14-13 on a North hitting error, but Dalton's kill stopped the Roseburg momentum and gave the Black Tornado an opportunity to close out the match.

Dalton served match point and Piff gave North its most important victory of the season with a kill.

Our middle hitters stepped up at the end and did a great job, said Beick. Our kids did a great job staying focused and not letting their big crowd distract them,

The match opened with Roseburg jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead, forcing Beick to use a timeout.

North players responded with seven unanswered points. Then Kristen Ferris' four straight serving points gave North a commanding 12-4 first-game advantage.

We were serving them short to take them out of their offense, said Beick. They made quite a few attacking errors and began to struggle at the end of the first game.

Piff and Dalton had eight kills apiece in the match to lead North's front row. The Black Tornado received a productive effort from senior outside hitter Anna Happel, who provided six kills, three stuff blocks and two aces.

We came in with a real strong mentality, said Beick. I was pleased with our toughness when they challenged us and the crowd was into it.