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Jackson's clutch performance lifts Phoenix over Illinois Valley

PREP VOLLEYBALL

PHOENIX-- The Phoenix High volleyball team used consistent serving and a big game from German foreign exchange student Katherine Esch Thursday to gain a 15-4, 15-11 Skyline Conference win over Illinois Valley.

Esch was 10-of-11 hitting with six kills, while Sutton Jackson was 16-for-16 from the service line with two aces and had three kills.

With the score knotted at three in the first game, Jackson toed the line and rolled off 11 straight points to seal the win.

Sutton came through for us in that first game, said Phoenix coach Tom Murphy. The game just seemed to settle around the serve.

Phoenix (11-3, 4-2 Skyline) held a slim 12-11 lead in the second game when Samantha Hollander served for the final three points, including one ace, for the win.

We continued to pass the ball well and convert from offense to defense efficiently, said Murphy. We are not a big hitting team so it is crucial for us to do the little things well.

ROGUE RIVER 17-15, MAZAMA 15-13-- At Rogue River, the Chieftains closed out Mazama in style with service aces to cap each game in Skyline Conference action.

Brittany Artoff came off the bench to serve the 17th point in the first game, while Kelly Simmons earned two points to break a 13-all tie in the second game.

Sophomore Jennifer Kay had nine kills, nine digs and three stuff-blocks to pace Rogue River (4-2), while senior Cheryl Jiles had 21 assists.

Junior Becky Grinde chipped in 14 digs and freshman Katie Glasscock added eight digs. Simmons was a perfect 12-for-12 serving with two aces and eight digs.

HENLEY 7-15-15, LAKEVIEW 15-13-10-- At Lakeview, the Hornets gained momentum late in the second and third games to earn a key Skyline Conference win in a battle of two league favorites.

After winning the first game, Lakeview managed a 12-9 lead in the second game before Henley roared back thanks to a few Honker hitting errors.

Neither team could break free in the third game until the Hornets nabbed a 13-10 lead and then closed out the contest.

Henley (14-3) improved to 6-0 in Skyline play, while Lakeview (16-3) dropped to 5-1.

Frances Hartman, Jess Childress and Jamie Ruda each had eight kills to pace Lakeview. Ruda also added 17 digs and was 11-for-11 from the service line.

NORTH VALLEY 15-16, HIDDEN VALLEY 6-14-- At Merlin, North Valley capitalized on error-prone Hidden Valley's mistakes and kept the Mustangs winless in the Skyline.

North Valley's Nicole Roberts served 10 straight points in game — to erase a 3-1 deficit.

The Mustangs led 14-10 in the second game, but missed three opportunities to close out the game.

For North Valley, Amanda Renius contributed eight kills and three blocks, while Melody Maccarone added three aces and four digs.

Hidden Valley received a good effort from junior setter Holly Fifield.

OAKLAND 7-15-15, ST. MARY'S 15-9-10-- Unranked Oakland kept the sixth-ranked Crusaders on their heels throughout the match to gain the non-conference victory.

The Big Fir League foe used a strong defensive attack to break any offensive rhythm by St. Mary's (15-3).

Junior Kristen Zielony had five kills, eight blocks and 16 digs to lead the Crusaders, while senior Maren Zielony had 13 digs and eight kills.

Junior Jenny Gritsch added 12 digs and junior Lani Brophy had 24 assists for St. Mary's.