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PREP VOLLEYBALL: North claims tourney bracket

BEND — North Medford capped an outstanding day in the Clearwater Classic volleyball tournament with a victory over West Albany, the state’s top-ranked Class 5A team, Saturday.

The Black Tornado defeated West Albany, 25-20, 25-21, at Mt. View High to win the tournament’s Silver Bracket for the third straight year.

The 34th annual event featured 10 6A and 5A teams from last year’s state tournaments. There were 24 teams in all.

“Once we made it to the Silver Bracket, we wanted to see if we could keep the string going,” said North Medford coach Malcolm Munson, “and the kids did against pretty good opponents. It was a good day.”

Against West Albany, Catherine Rostel had 10 kills and nine digs, Lauren Barry 16 digs and Jordan Sandler 10 digs. Audrey Yechout registered seven kills, and Hannah Drysdale had 25 assists.

In other bracket matches, North Medford defeated South Eugene in the semifinals, 25-21, 19-25, 15-11, and Sandy in the quarterfinals, 25-8, 25-23.

In pool play at Bend High, the Black Tornado split with West Salem (22-25, 25-22) and St. Mary’s of Portland (25-21, 23-25) and was swept by Central Catholic (13-25, 23-25). Central Catholic is ranked second in the 6A ranks.

“Beating West Albany is pretty big,” said Munson, “and South Eugene has had our number the last couple times, so getting them was good. The kids put it together, so it was fun.”

Against South Eugene, Barry had 18 kills and 18 digs, Jackie Aukusitino had four kills and three solo blocks and Taryn Holmes notched 13 digs.

Against Sandy, Barry had 15 kills and three aces, Sara Hamlin 12 digs, Rostel nine kills and Drysdale 25 assists.

“I thought our energy was good,” said Munson. “I think we’re in pretty good shape, and the hard work the kids have put in in the offseason and they things they did in conditioning have really paid off because down the stretch, we’re pretty fresh.”

CRATER SPLITS: At Springfield, ninth-ranked Crater split two Midwestern League matches. Thurston beat the Comets in five sets, 25-20, 20-25, 16-25, 25-22, 16-14. Then Crater swept Springfield, 25-11, 25-16, 25-21.

In the early game with Thurston, the Comets (13-4, 11-2 MWL) dealt with a fast offensive team that kept the Crater blockers guessing throughout. Even the stellar defensive play of Kylie Anderson (26 digs) and Kayana Woodard (13 digs) could not keep Thurston at bay.

Kate Stidham had 33 assists and nine digs. Avery Hanson and Avery Young each had 10 blocks.

Against Springfield, Stidham had 23 assists and seven service aces. Kill leaders were Avery Hanson (seven) and Tessa Frodge (six).

EAGLES LOSE TWO: At Springfield, Eagle Point dropped Midwestern League matches against Thurston and Springfield.

Thurston beat the Eagles, 25-10, 25-11, 25-22. Springfield triumphed, 17-22, 25-19, 26-24, 20-15, 15-9.

Against Springfield, unforced errors in the fifth set proved costly for the Eagles, who trailed 6-1 at the outset.

Eagle Point’s Chloe Pariani tallied eight aces, two kills and 14 assists, as she filled in at the setter position. Hailey Burcham had three aces, nine kills and 12 digs. Briana Aguilar did not miss a serve (11-for-11) in the match.

Against Thurston, Eagles setter Pressley Brown dished out nine assists. Burcham led the way with three kills, three blocks and three digs. Sara Angel had five kills and five digs from the outside hitter position.

CHALLENGERS SPLIT: At Adair Village, 10th-ranked Cascade Christian defeated Horizon Christian, 25-22, 23-25, 25-4, 25-21, before top-ranked Santiam Christian pinned a 25-20, 25-23, 18-25, 25-16 loss on the Challengers in a nonleague tournament.

Against Horizon, Cascade Christian’s Janie Kenaston had 11 kills, five aces and four blocks, and Kara Palmer notched four blocks. Olivia Borga had eight kills and four aces, and Taylor Cave racked up 35 assists.

Against Santiam Christian (18-0), the Challengers (9-6) got 12 kills and five blocks from Palmer to lead the way. Born and Hannah Stanfield each had eight kills, and Stanfield added five aces. Cave recorded 28 assists and four kills.

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