PREP ROUNDUP: Thickett fuels Crusader win
Natalie Thickett racked up a career-high 17 kills to help host St. Mary’s capture a Far West League volleyball victory over South Umpqua, 25-21, 16-25, 25-16, 25-21 Thursday.
The senior outside hitter Thickett, who was a little erratic at times with nine hitting errors, also splashed down four aces to pace the Crusaders (5-5, 2-0 FWL), who recorded 14 aces as a team.
The Crusaders’ Abbie Christman was 20-for-20 from the service line to go with five kills and three aces, Ashley Gurr chipped in 19 assists and Ainsley Dunn went for six kills.
Defensively, Maddie Mills had 25 digs, Grace Johnson added 11 digs and freshman Kelsey Dunn added four blocks.
SHELDON 3, NORTH MEDFORD 0: Senior outside hitter Lauren Barry collected 19 kills and 14 digs but Sheldon spoiled North Medford’s home Southwest Conference opener with a 25-22, 25-21, 25-20 victory.
Hannah Drysdale accumulated 14 assists and eight digs, Catherine Rostel added six kills, 10 digs and three aces and Jenna Sandstrom totalled five blocks for the Black Tornado (2-4, 0-1 SWC).
North Medford, which served well with only three misses, picked up 11 assists and three aces from Pa Oa Payne Kaeo as well as nine digs from Taryn Holmes.
GRANTS PASS 3, SOUTH MEDFORD 1: A Grants Pass, South Medford suffered a 25-15, 25-20, 19-25, 25-13 loss in its first Southwest Conference match.
After defeating the Cavemen in a tournament earlier in the season, South could not put together the same success.
The Panthers (5-2) had a good night at the net as Tes Wente had 11 kills, two aces and three solo blocks. Kiya Jackson added seven kills and three blocks.
HENLEY 3, PHOENIX 0: At Phoenix, Henley topped Phoenix in their first Skyline Conference game 25-22, 25-17, 25-6.
The Pirates (1-9) struggled with senior setter Anna Ellis out with an injury. Her sister, Ally, filled in with four assists and three aces from the service line. Josie Bolstad had three kills, four digs and one block and Rae Goff added five digs and an ace.
Madi Lewis came in off the bench with three digs and a steal as the Pirates tried different lineups throughout.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 3, BROOKINGS-HARBOR 0: At Brookings, Cascade Christian started its Far West League season with a 25-22, 25-20, 25-15 win.
The offense settled into a rhythm early.
Hannah Stanfield had 11 kills and Olivia Borg had 10 kills. Junior setter Taylor Cave had an outstanding performance with 28 assists to go with five aces from the service line.
Cascade Christian is now 4-1 overall.
BUTTE FALLS 3, ROGUE RIVER 1: At Butte Falls, once Butte Falls worked out its early-game jitters, the Loggers turned the tables on Rogue River in an 11-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-17 Southern Cascade League match.
The Loggers’ Ellie Columbus amassed 13 kills, eight blocks, 19 digs to go with a pair of aces.
Lucia Damiana provided 26 digs and 10 assists for the Loggers (5-3, 2-1 SCL), who picked up 17 digs and four aces from Rocky Scott.
Kassi Hines added seven kills and three aces, and freshman Grace Beaver added nine assists for Butte Falls.
PHOENIX 3, COTTAGE GROVE 1: At Talent, Makenzie Christenson scored once and assisted on another goal to lift Phoenix to the nonconference victory over Cottage Grove Colver Field.
Phoenix is 2-0-1 overall.
Sofia Rodriquez scored on a pass from Christenson to get the only first-half goal. The Pirates continued their offensive dominance in the second half and finished with 18 shots on goal.
Christenson scored first in the second half and Hailey Lustig followed with another. Freshman defender Morgan James contributed with an outstanding game.
ST. MARY’S 1, HENLEY 0: St. Mary’s notched a nonconference victory over Henley at U.S. Cellular Field to improve to 2-1.
After a scoreless first half that saw sophomore Brennan Gangnes have a shot on goal ricochet off the post, the Crusaders benefited by a handball call in the box in the second half as sophomore Ryker Rothfus converted.
St. Mary’s continued to possess the ball late as Rothfus just missed a shot off the fingertips of the Henley goalkeeper.