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PREP VOLLEYBALL: Clevenger fuels South win in tourney start

Katie Clevenger gave South Medford a spark with her serving in the first set and helped propel the Panthers to a 25-17, 25-23, 17-25, 25-19 win over North Bend in the quarterfinals of the Southern Oregon Conference volleyball tournament at South Medford High Friday.

North Bend, of the Class 5A Midwestern League, was invited to fill out the eight-team field. The loss was the Bulldogs’ first after nine wins this season.

South Medford is the top seed in the tourney. It improved to 10-3 and will meet Roseburg at 11 a.m. Saturday at Crater High.

“It was nice having a fresh team to play against,” said Panthers coach Robin Akpan. “They did give us some challenges. We got to continue to improve tonight.”

Clevenger, who had nine aces on the night to go with 11 kills and two blocks, set the tone for South Medford when she served six straight points in the first set. The Panthers led only 14-13 when she began the run.

Tes Wente also had 11 kills and four blocks for the Panthers, Emily Fliegel seven kills and Aubrey Millar five kills and four blocks.

Alexis Deschweinitz registered 24 assists, three aces and five digs.

“We talked about how the win tonight put us in the championship bracket for tomorrow, which is exciting to be moving in that direction,” said Akpan.

NORTH MEDFORD 3, EAGLE POINT 0: North Medford senior outside hitter Catherine Rostel recorded a team-high 15 kills and added 11 digs to lead the Black Tornado in the SOC quarterfinals, 25-22, 25-14, 25-14.

North (11-2) will face Crater in Saturday’s first semifinal at 9 a.m. at Crater.

Senior libero Sara Hamlin recorded 13 digs, while Audrey Yechout recorded nine kills and Taryn Holmes added six kills.

North setters Pa’oa Payne-Kaeo and Matlyn Leetch both finished with 16 assists.

For Eagle Point (0-11), senior Briana Aguilar had a match-best 16 digs, while senior Kierssa Hogan had 10 assists and five digs. Both Aguilar and Hogan had two aces.

Lily Bixler added eight kills and Chloe Pariani had five kills, two blocks and six digs for Eagle Point, which faces Grants Pass in the consolation bracket at 8:30 a.m. this morning.

CRATER 3, GRANTS PASS 0: At Central Point, Crater won its quaterfinal matchup in the SOC tournament with a 25-15, 25-6, 25-15 sweep.

The Comets (8-2) face North Medford in the semifinals at 9 a.m. Saturday at Crater High.

Madison Kocina led the Comets with 10 kills, followed by Tessa Frodge with nine and Kyrah Christensen with six.

Kendra Bittle produced five blocks, and Kate Stidham racked up 31 assists.

Grants Pass (1-9) plays Eagle Point at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Crater.

ROSEBURG 3, ASHLAND 0: At Roseburg, Ashland couldn’t recover from Roseburg’s convincing opening-set victory and swept the Grizzlies, 25-11, 25-22, 25-17, in the SOC tournament quarterfinals.

The Grizzlies (3-7) will take on North Bend in the consolation semifinals Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Crater High. Roseburg (7-4) moves on to the semifinals against South Medford at 11 a.m. Saturday.