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Crater advances to tourney with playoff win

CENTRAL POINT — Brilliant serving got the Crater volleyball team off to a strong start in the Class 5A state playoffs and made offense hard to start for 12th-seeded Wilsonville on Saturday at Crater High.

Lainey Jensen, Lilly Kuropat and Destiny Fahndrich combined for 35 points at the service line to help the Comets punch out a 25-16, 25-21, 25-20 first-round triumph, advancing Crater into the final eight at the state tournament.

“Those three really served extremely tough,” said Crater coach Leaf Jensen of the trio. “We put so much pressure on (Wilsonville) with our serves, they were hitting out of position a lot of the time.”

The sixth-seeded Comets (19-3) will take on No. 3 La Salle at 10 a.m. Friday in the quarterfinals at Liberty High in Hillsboro.

Fahndrich, a junior outside hitter, tallied eight kills, eight digs and 11 service points, four of which were aces. Jensen and Kuropat served 12 points apiece.

Also for the Comets, senior middle Paige Berriochoa recorded nine kills, seven digs and two aces while senior outside hitter Kelsey Strouse went for five kills and 10 digs and senior setter Nicole Davis added 26 assists and five digs.

ST. HELENS 3, ASHLAND 0: At St. Helens, Ashland was swept in the first round of the 5A state playoffs in a 25-16, 25-15, 25-12 road loss to fifth-seeded St. Helens (18-4).

The Grizzlies, seeded 11th, wrapped up their season with an 18-9 record

CASCADE 3, PHOENIX 0: At Turner, Phoenix seemed to be just a step behind in each set as Cascade turned in a 25-23, 25-21, 25-17 win to eliminate the Pirates in the opening round of the Class 4A state playoffs.

Sydney Amundsen provided 14 kills and three blocks and fellow senior middle hitter Adriana Mereida-Ford notched 13 kills and three blocks for the Pirates (15-4).

Phoenix junior setter Karlie Richardson put up 30 assists and was 10-for-10 from the service line with no errors, while junior libero Lizett Gutierrez led with 15 digs.

HIDDEN VALLEY 3, TILLAMOOK 2: At Murphy, Kenzy Martin had a double-double with 15 kills and 12 blocks for Hidden Valley in the 25-16, 25-22, 21-25, 22-25, 15-13 playoff victory.

Brooke Lomica added 11 kills and five blocks while teammate McKenzie Cushman contributed 37 assists, 11 kills and four aces.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN 3, NYSSA 1: Trudy Burns led Cascade Christian with 15 kills as the Challengers clinched a berth in the Class 3A state tournament with a 25-23, 25-10, 24-26, 25-23 playoff victory in their home gym.

Madigan Smith and Katelyn Smith had 12 and 10 kills, respectively, while Alyssa Brown added 44 assists for Cascade Christian (20-5). The Challengers will next play Salem Academy at 10 a.m. Friday in the quarterfinals at Lane Community College in Eugene.