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Prep volleyball

St. Mary's captures SCL crown with sweep

New league, same result.

Fifth-ranked St. Mary's locked up its third district volleyball championship in as many years and first as a member of the Southern Cascade League Saturday when it swept a doubleheader from visiting Bonanza.

I think our goals were the same no matter what league we played, St. Mary's coach James Joy said. We knew pretty much as the season went on that it would come down to today.

St. Mary's is now 9-0 in the SCL, 17-2 overall and is assured of a berth in next month's Class 2A state tournament in Eugene. No. 8 Bonanza dropped to 7-2.

Bonanza took a 9-4 lead in the first game of the day before St. Mary's drew even, 9-9, with Kristen Zielony and Crystal Galedrige serving. The Crusaders went up 13-11 only to watch Bonanza take a 14-13 lead. But St. Mary's got a pivotal sideout and Zielony served out the game.

Just to make sure the Crusaders didn't miss their cue, Joy reminded them it took a sweep to clinch.

If Bonanza wins, we're tied at 8-1, Joy said. If we win, we go two up (with one match to play). That got them fired up a little.

In Game — of the second match, Zielony again served during a critical stretch, turning a 10-all count to a 14-10 advantage. She wound up 21-of-21 serving with 14 points.

In the second game, Zielony and Galedrige stepped up at the service line with the score tied, 8-8, and served out the match.

Becky Naumes had 14 digs, 17 kills and six aces on the afternoon, in what Joy termed a huge day. Maren Zielony added 19 digs and 10 kills and Galedrige doled out 26 assists to go with 14 service points.

(Bonanza) looked like a different team than last year, Joy said. They showed a little different style of play. Last year, they were a little more creative on offense.

This time, the Antlers relied on a meat and potatoes combination of junior outside hitter Aaliyah Young and 5-foot-11 setter Sarah Manning, who transformed into a stubborn blocker when she was in the front row.

GILCHRIST SWEEPS CASCADE CHRISTIAN -- At Gilchrist, the Grizzlies secured a Southern Cascade League playoff berth by sweeping Cascade Christian 15-5, 15-5 and 15-12, 15-4.

In the first match, Christie Hammell was perfect in 11 serves with seven kills and five digs.

Junior setter Sabrina Crisp paced Gilchrist with 36 assists. Robin Henry led the Grizzlies in in the second match, going 8-for-8 serving with five kills and four solo blocks.

The Grizzlies are 14-8 on the season and 5-4 in the SCL.

Cascade Christian coach Susan Gmur was ejected in the first game of the second match for arguing a line call. Cascade Christian fell to 3-6 in the SCL.