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South outlasts Crater to win SOC net opener

Monday's Southern Oregon Conference opener between Crater and South Medford went from one extreme to the other.

Crater rallied for a thrilling victory in the first game, but steadily crashed during host South Medford's 28-30, 25-23, 25-20, 25-8 win.

South was just crushing the ball in that first game, said Crater coach Leaf Jensen. We were a little nervous, but we played really good defense.

The girls came back so excited after that first game that I had to tell them to calm down because there's a long way to go.

South (1-1, 1-0 SOC) didn't blink after a tough loss in the opener and grabbed a 7-1 lead in Game 2.

— The Comets (0-2, 0-1 SOC) rallied and eventually evened the score at 22-all before the Panthers slammed the door.

Emotionally, it was tough to lose that first game, said first-year South Medford coach Adam Wagman. But the girls didn't falter.

I mean, if we fall down 0-2, it's obviously a totally different match.

After another close call in the third game, South pulled away from a 10-6 lead in the finale behind Stephanie Anderberg's nine straight service points.

I think when we lost that third game, the girls started questioning themselves, said Jensen. They came out as flat as any team I've ever coached in the last game.

Crater's Justine Bettencourt had a team-high nine kills and 18 digs, while Crissy Best added eight kills and Haley Hevern 15 digs.

Anderberg paced the Panthers with 31 assists and four service aces, while Rachael Bailey and Jen Mendenhall had 13 and 10 kills, respectively.

GRANTS PASS 25-25-25, EAGLE POINT 14-18-20 ' At Grants Pass, senior middles Erin Glovinsky and Shanna Claflin produced 16 and 10 kills, respectively, to lift Grants Pass to the mild upset over Eagle Point in the SOC opener for both teams.

Senior defensive specialist Rachelle Jessup added eight digs and senior outside hitter Katie Tardieu provided tough serving for the Cavers, who won just three conference matches last season.

Boys Soccer

SOUTH MEDFORD 3, NORTH EUGENE 0 ' At Eugene, Bryan Waggener scored the lone first-half goal for South Medford during the nonconference win.

Waggener put the Panthers (2-0) up 1-0 at the half with a goal with under six minutes remaining.

Shane Holiday scored unassisted in the 66th minute and Corey O'Neill put on the final touches with a score in the 75th minute off an assist from Spencer Hunter.

Goalkeepers Dane Happeny and Mikey Belzberg combined to pitch the shutout for South, which plays at Canby on Friday.

NORTH MEDFORD 4, WILLAMETTE — ' At Eugene, Luis Cabrera scored two goals as North Medford picked up its first win of season in nonconference action.

Cabrera put the Black Tornado on the board in the 16th minute off an assist from Devin Torrey. The 1-0 lead held up through the first half.

Willamette scored the equalizer seven minutes into the second stanza, but North recaptured the lead after an own-goal mishap by the Wolverines.

James Tidwell found the corner of the net off a corner kick by Bryce Walters in the 65th minute to pad the lead and Cabrera tacked on his final goal with five minutes remaining.

Midfielder Brandon DeLuca played a solid game for the Tornado, which improved to 1-0-1 on the season.

Girls Soccer

CRATER 5, PHOENIX 4 ' At Central Point, Sarah LaFontaine scored her third goal of the game in the 71st minute to boost Crater past pesky Phoenix in the non-league match.

The Comets (2-0) trailed 4-3 midway through the second half but LaFontaine tallied twice in the game's final 19 minutes to put them over the hump.

Kasidy Reina added two goals and one assist and Courtney Ratty had two assists for the Comets, who won their second match in as many outings.

Kelly Riley scored two goals for the Pirates, while Sarah Kieffer and Larrisa Wiltrout each added one apiece.

Crater had a 17-14 edge in shots on goal.