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PREP VOLLEYBALL: South gets past North in 'confident’ win

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The rubber match between the South Medford and North Medford volleyball teams went to the Panthers on Tuesday night, as they jumped out to a two-set lead and ultimately pulled out a 25-14, 26-24, 26-28, 25-18 win at home.

South, which defeated North earlier this season in the Rogue Valley Classic before the Black Tornado won the rematch in a five-set thriller at North Medford High, started Tuesday’s match as the aggressor by winning the first set in convincing fashion.

In the second, the Panthers (10-10, 4-5 Southwest Conference) broke a 24-all tie when Emma Hills and Brooke Johnston met North at the net to pick up the block. Johnston then sent over the set-clinching point that North deflected out of play.

North (11-8, 5-4) was within two points of clinching the third set with a 23-18 lead, before South stormed back to tie the set at 25-all. North then pulled ahead 27-26 on a block, then won the set on a South hitting error.

The Panthers, however, were unfazed by the previous set and built a 14-4 lead in the fourth. Baylee Davis clinched the set and the match on an ace for South.

“We played really confident tonight, we played united, we celebrated and we had a lot of school support,” South Medford head coach Robin Akpan said. “It came together for us to really feel like a confident win.”

Katie Clevenger led the Panthers with 21 kills, while adding 10 digs and two blocks. Emily Fliegel added 11 kills, two digs, two aces.

Alexis Deschweinitz had 26 assists, 13 digs, three kills and one block, while Davis added 25 assists, two aces and five digs.

In the middle, Johnston chipped in three blocks, two digs and two kills, with Naomi Johnson adding three aces, two blocks and four kills, and Hills collecting a team-high four blocks and two kills

“Our team came in ready to play,” Akpan said.

For the Black Tornado, Jackie Aukusitino and Audrey Yechout had 14 and 13 kills, respectively, and Pa’oa Payne-Kaeo picked up 31 assists. North had nine aces as a team.

CRATER 3, ASHLAND 0: At Ashland, Crater recorded its third Midwestern League win in the last four outings, sweep Ashland 25-16, 25-20, 25-22 at Mountain Avenue Gymnasium.

Crater improved to 9-8 overall and 9-6 in the MWL with the win.

For Ashland (7-10, 7-8 MWL), senior Taylor Heie had six kills and two digs, while junior Cameron Christian recorded 18 digs to go with a kill and an ace. Sophomore Amelia Evans had seven kills and three blocks.

NORTH EUGENE 3, EAGLE POINT 1: At Eagle Point, Eagle Point captured the first set, but lost the next three to North Eugene to suffer a 25-20, 18-25, 15-25, 23-25 Midwestern League loss.

Senior Lily Bixler and freshman Addy Holcomb both finished with a team-high nine kills, while junior Abby Trautman added eight kills against North Eugene (7-9, 7-7 MWL). Holcomb finished with seven blocks, while Trautman was one of three Eagle Point players with nine digs. Sophomore Emma Kness and junior Jaylinn Holte also had nine digs.

Sophomore Makynlee Schauffler led the Eagles (3-14, 2-13 MWL) with 22 assists and 10 digs. Senior Paige Green added four blocks.

HIDDEN VALLEY 3, PHOENIX 0: At Murphy, Phoenix closed out its regular season with a loss to Hidden Valley, 22-25, 19-25, 13-25.

The Pirates (6-14, 3-7 Skyline) were led by senior Raelyssa Goff’s 20 digs and two kills and junior Ami Safady’s 10 kills. Safady added a block.

Senior Allyson Ellis and freshman Ariah Potts were 13-for-13 and 11-for-11 from the service line, respectively. Ellis added 10 assists and a pair of kills, while Potts had five digs and two kills.

Freshman Seneca Ikemire recorded a team-best three blocks against Hidden Valley (7-8, 7-3).

CASCADE CHRISTIAN 3, ST. MARY’S 0: Cascade Christian earned a share of the Far West League title with a 25-20, 25-22, 25-21 win over rival St. Mary’s.

The Challengers featured an attack led by Maddi Carter with a team-high 19 kills, in addition to five aces, with Maddie Todd contributing 11 kills and Poppy Freeman six kills. Molly Griffin dished out 32 assists to lead Cascade Christian, which finished in a tie with Sutherlin (17-5, 9-1) atop the FWL standings.

For the Crusaders, junior Kelsey Dunn had 10 kills and 12 blocks, while senior Lainey Stranberg added seven kills. Junior Kaitlyn Hansen recorded 15 assists and sophomore Emma Johnston had nine digs.

St. Mary’s finished the regular season 9-10 overall, and 5-5 in the FWL, good for sole possession of third place.

RVA WINS PAIR: At Prospect, Rogue Valley Adventist won a pair of Mountain Valley League matches in a meetup of three teams, first defeating Paisley 25-5, 25-7, 25-10 before topping Prospect 25-8, 25-12, 25-13.

Across the two matches, Emma Bischoff had a team-high 18 kills to go along with seven aces, Isabell Zamora led with 11 aces, Destinee Quattrocelli tallied 16 assists and Amelie Quave led the Red Tail Hawks (17-2, 11-0 MVL) with seven digs.

Prospect fell to 3-7 overall and 3-6 in MVL play, while Paisley dropped to 0-9 overall and in MVL play.

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSouth Medford's team reacts to winning the 2nd set against North Medford on Tuesday.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSouth Medford's Emma Hills pushes the ball over for a point against North Medford.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth Medford's Jackie Aukusitino makes a hit for a point against South Medford.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSouth Medford's Katie Clevenger hits over the net for a point against North Medford Tuesday evening.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSouth Medford's Katie Clevenger makes a hit for a point against North Medford Tuesday evening.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSouth Medford's Naomi Johnson makes a hit for a point against North Medford Tuesday evening.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSouth Medford's Brooke Johnston and Grace Morales block a shot from North Medford's Emelia Thiring during the 2nd game.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth Medford's Audrey Yechout and Makayla Miller dive for the ball against South Medford.