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PREP VOLLEYBALL: North grabs 2nd straight SWC win

When the North Medford High volleyball team hit a bit of turbulence Thursday night against Roseburg, the Black Tornado didn’t blink.

After taking a 2-0 lead at home, North Medford saw Roseburg bounce back to win the third set, then take a four-point advantage midway through the fourth. The Black Tornado claimed four straight points to knot the set at 12-all, then took the lead for good at 18-17 thanks to a kill from senior Jackie Aukusitino.

In what was an eventual 25-20, 25-15, 19-25, 25-22 win in Southwest Conference play for North Medford, head coach Josh Elbert said the team did a great job of taking the match one point at a time when they came back from multiple deficits in the fourth set.

“You could just see a mindset shift when we went one point at a time,” said Elbert, who also credited the leadership of his senior class. “We came back, overtook them and finished.”

Senior Audrey Yechout led the Black Tornado with 16 kills, in addition to 15 kills from Aukusitino. Senior setter Pa’oa Payne-Kaeo tallied 34 assists and 3 1/2 blocks on the night. Senior Makayla Miller led the defense with 18 digs for North Medford (6-4, 2-1 SWC). The Black Tornado had eight blocks and 10 aces as a team.

The win over Roseburg (5-4, 1-2 SWC) was North’s second of the week after it defeated Grants Pass in four sets Tuesday.

NORTH EUGENE 3, CRATER 1: At Eugene, North Eugene was able to take the final two sets after Crater leveled it at 1-all and handed the Comets a 17-25, 25-13, 20-25, 23-25 Midwestern League loss.

Junior Kendra Bittle finished with team-high totals in kills (18), blocks (2) and aces (4) for Crater, which fell to 2-5 overall and 2-3 in the MWL.

Crater junior setter Kate Stidham recorded 28 assists, while sophomore Joslyhn Pope had 20 digs and fellow sophomore Abigail Winslow added 13 digs.

North Eugene improved to 4-4 overall and 4-3 in league play.

WILLAMETTE 3, EAGLE POINT 2: At Eugene, Eagle Point fell just shy of picking up its first win on the season in a 19-25, 25-17, 25-18, 17-25, 12-15 defeat to Willamette.

Senior Lily Bixler had a team-high 13 kills for Eagle Point (0-7, 0-6 MWL), which also had seven kills from junior Abby Trautman and six kills from freshman Addy Holcomb.

Sophomore Makynlee Schauffler tallied 27 assists, junior Jaylinn Holte led the Eagles defense with 14 digs, while Trautman and sophomore Emma Kness had 13 digs apiece.

On the service line, senior Paige Green had a team-high six aces and junior Sydney Boren chipped in four aces.

The win for Willamette (2-6) was its first in league play.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN 3, SOUTH UMPQUA 0: At Myrtle Creek, Cascade Christian got back in the win column by downing South Umpqua 25-18, 25-23, 25-14 in a Far West League matchup.

Sophomore Maddi Carter led Cascade Christian (4-5, 2-1) with 18 kills, sophomore Maddie Todd added nine kills, sophomore Molly Griffin had a team-high 27 assists and junior Ellie Harrington led the Challengers defense with eight digs.

South Umpqua fell to 3-6 overall and 1-2 in the FWL.

SUTHERLIN 3, ST. MARY’S 0: At Sutherlin, St. Mary’s saw its three-match winning streak snapped with a straight-set loss to FWL foe Sutherlin 16-25, 18-25, 16-25.

On a night when the Crusaders (6-4, 2-1 FWL) struggled to get into a consistent offensive rhythm, junior Kelsey Dunn led the team with six kills and four blocks. Junior Albie Borovansky led the team with 16 digs.

Sutherlin won its sixth straight with the sweep, improving to 8-2 overall with a 3-0 mark in league play.

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