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PREP VOLLEYBALL: South closes strong, beats Grants Pass

As it hits the official halfway point of Southwest Conference play, the South Medford High volleyball team got contributions from a variety of places in a 23-25, 25-22, 25-10, 25-17 home win against visiting Grants Pass.

After dropping the opening set, the Panthers came back to win three straight and improved to 7-7 overall and 2-3 in the SWC.

Junior outside hitter Katie Clevenger had a team-high 21 kills to go along with five digs and two aces, senior outside hitter Emily Fliegel added 17 kills, senior setter Alexis Deschweinitz had a team-high 20 assists and eight digs, while also adding four kills, and junior setter Baylee Davis contributed 13 assists and three aces.

“I was really proud of how well my team played together tonight,” South Medford head coach Robin Akpan said. “It was kind of a different night and everybody contributed and did really well.”

At 1-8 overall and 0-6 in the SWC, Grants Pass is still looking for its first conference win.

SHELDON 3, NORTH MEDFORD 2: At Eugene, North Medford was on the verge of pulling out a road win at Sheldon, but instead saw Irish come back back to win the match 23-25, 16-25, 25-22, 25-18, 19-17.

In a matchup of the top two teams in the Southwest Conference, North won the first two sets before Sheldon (13-4, 5-0 SWC) responded by winning the next three.

Senior outside hitter Jackie Aukusitino had a team-high 25 kills for the Black Tornado (7-4, 3-1), senior outside hitter Audrey Yechout added 12 kills and 15 digs, senior setter Pa’oa Payne-Kaeo tallied 49 assists and senior libero Makayla Miller had a team-high 22 digs.

Additionally, North recorded a combined eight aces as a team.

NORTH BEND 3, EAGLE POINT 0: At North Bend, Eagle Point was unable to slow down the Midwestern League’s first-place team, falling in straight sets to North Bend 12-25, 20-25, 20-25.

Sophomore Makynlee Schauffler had four aces and 17 assists for Eagle Point (0-10, 0-9 MWL). Junior Sydney Boren had five kills, while senior Lily Bixler added four kills.

Junior Abby Trautman recorded 15 digs and sophomore Emma Kness had eight digs. Freshman Addy Holcomb finished with a team-best four blocks.

Ten of North Bend’s 12 wins this season have come in straight sets, as the Bulldogs improved to 12-1 overall and 10-1 in the MWL.

CHURCHILL 3, CRATER 1: At Eugene, playing with a shorthanded group against one of the top teams in the MWL, Crater fell in four sets to Churchill 15-25, 20-25, 25-18, 13-25.

Junior Kate Stidham had a team-high 11 kills, sophomore Abigail Winslow added seven kills and 19 digs, while freshman Danica Huntoon had a team-high six blocks for the Comets (5-5, 5-3 MWL), who were without three players for the match.

Sophomore Taylee Wilson, who swung up from JV for the game, tallied 24 assists and sophomore Joslyhn Pope had a team-high 27 digs.

Churchill improved to 9-3 overall and 9-1 in MWL play.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN 3, BROOKINGS-HARBOR 1: While three of its players were sidelined due to an illness, Cascade Christian reconfigured its rotation and earned a 25-19, 23-25, 25-18, 25-17 win at home over visiting Brookings-Harbor

The sudden change in personnel did not allow Cascade Christian to practice with its new lineup before Tuesday’s match, but the Challengers stayed resilient in their defeat of the Bruins.

Among the Cascade players with expanded role was freshman Poppy Freeman, who delivered 10 kills, six aces and 14 digs. Sophomore outside hitter Maddi Carter had a team-high 17 kills to lead the Challengers (6-8, 4-1 Far West League), while junior Ellie Harrington, filling in as setter, dished out 42 assists and freshman defensive specialist Annika Byers had a team-high 18 digs.

Brookings-Harbor fell to 3-12 overall and 1-5 in FWL play.

ST. MARY’S 3, SOUTH UMPQUA 0: St. Mary’s junior Kelsey Dunn recorded a team-high 15 kills, leading the Crusaders to a straight-set win over visiting South Umpqua 25-16, 25-19, 25-18.

Dunn added four aces and a pair of blocks, while fellow junior Albie Borovansky had four aces and 14 digs.

Senior Lainey Stranberg recorded six kills, while junior setter Kaitlyn Hansen had 21 assists for the Crusaders (7-8, 3-1 Far West League).

As a team, St. Mary’s finished with 13 aces.

South Umpqua fell to 4-8 overall and 2-3 in the FWL.