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St. Mary's takes on Amity in semifinals

EUGENE — In what would make for an appropriate Class 2A championship match, St. Mary's and Amity will instead play this morning in the semifinals of the state tournament.

Second-ranked St. Mary's defeated Corbett 15-8, 16-14 and, in the quarterfinals, Central Linn, 15-3, 12-15, 15-11, on the opening day Friday at the Lane County Fairgrounds.

Meanwhile, top-ranked Amity downed Wallowa, 15-12, 15-7 and Oakland 15-3, 15-4.

This will be the fifth time in St. Mary's coach James Joy's four years at the school that the two teams have played.

We're 0-for-Amity, he said.

One of those losses was in the state final a year ago, when the Crusaders dropped the third game 15-13. Two of the losses have come this year, the most recent being 15-10, 15-10.

It was pretty close, said Joy, but the cool thing is both teams really get up for each other and play pretty well. We have a lot of respect for one another.

The key matchup will be St. Mary's first-rate offense against the Warriors? stingy defense.

There's not a lot of holes on the floor, said Joy. They read extremely well and they are really fast on defense. We have to find some points.

In the quarterfinals, St. Mary's breezed to the first-game win over Central Linn, converting 24 of 24 serves — its first perfect serving game of the year.

But the Crusaders stumbled in the second after taking a 12-10 lead. About that time, the officials lost track of substitutions and points scored, said Joy, and the Crusaders lost focus.

There was a lot of standing around and wondering what was going on, he said.

St. Mary's regrouped in Game — behind the serving of Jenny Gritsch and the defense of Christina Vaninetti. With the Crusaders trailing 5-4, Gritsch served them to an 8-5 lead. She toed the line again with the score knotted at 11 and served out the match.

Vaninetti, meanwhile, had four of her five blocks in the game to go with five kills.

Also for St. Mary's, Lani Brophy had 23 assists, nine digs, six kills and three aces; Libby Trum had 14 digs and six kills; and Kristen Zielony had 12 kills and nine digs.

In the win over Corbett, Kim Hansen had a season-high five kills, Zielony 11 kills and eight digs, Trum 10 digs and five kills and Brophy 23 assists and five aces.

— — CASCADE STAYS ALIVE ?

At Eugene, Cascade Christian rebounded from an early-morning defeat to beat Gold Beach 3-15, 15-3, 15-10 in the Class 2A tournament.

The Challengers were beaten in an 8 a.m. match by Enterprise, the Wapiti League champion, 15-4, 15-4.

Cascade, 21-6 and the No. 2 team from the Southern Cascade League, plays Monroe in another 8 a.m. match today.

In the win over Gold Beach, the No. 2 team out of the Big Fir League, started slowly again before reversing the trend for the final two games.

In Game 3, Cascade bolted to a 3-0 lead. It led 11-8 and 13-10 before pulling away.

Kelly Clarke, the Challengers? lone senior, had eight kills, four blocks, 10 digs and three service aces against Gold Beach. Setter Whitney Brookins was steady in feeding her teammates and also had eight digs. Krystal Holtz contributed six kills.

— Class 3A

PHOENIX SALVAGES WIN -At Eugene, Phoenix, making its first state tournament appearance in more than a decade, lost its opener to Ranier, 15-5 and 15-7, at the Lane County Fairgrounds.

The Pirates came back in the consolation bracket to defeat South Umpqua, 15-12 and 15-4.

Phoenix plays The Dalles in the consolation semifinals at 8 this morning.

LAKEVIEW, HENLEY ADVANCE TO SEMIFINALS -At Eugene, Skyline Conference champion Lakeview defeated Burns 15-3 and 15-3 and posted a quarterfinal-round win over Wilsonville, 15-9 and 15-9, at the Lane County Fairgrounds.

The Honkers face top-ranked and defending state champion Marist in today's semifinals at 11 a.m.

Skyline runner-up Henley posted wins over The Dalles (15-13, 15-12) and Sisters (15-8, 15-7) and will play LaGrande in the semifinals at 11 a.m.

— Class 1A

BUTTE FALLS LOSES, WINS -At Eugene, Butte Falls dropped its opener to St. Paul 15-7 and 16-14, but came back to post a 15-2, 8-15 and 15-8 win against Adrian.

The Loggers will play South Wasco County for the consolation title at 12:30 p.m. today at the Lane County Fairgrounds.

The Loggers (21-7) served 17 aces in the victory against Adrian.

Elizabeth McLauchlan led the way with eight aces, including six during a nine-point run in Game 3.

Butte Falls trailed 8-4 in the third game, when McLauchlan served points 5-13. Jackie Lyon served the final two points of the match.

In the opening game, Krystle Rowley served 10 straight points to pace the win.

Freshman Asia Million led the Loggers with five kills and nine digs, while freshman Sarah Matthews added four blocks.

Setters Rowley and Jessica Dunlap each had four assists.