The Skyhawk volleyball team battles within one game of tournament

The Southridge volleyball team fell short of its ultimate goal in 2012, but went down with an effort to be proud of.

The Skyhawks, the Metro League runners up, opened the Class 6A state playoffs with a 25-8, 25-16, 25-20 sweep of West Salem on Oct. 31, then gave their all in Saturday's second round before finally falling short against third-ranked Three Rivers League champion Clackamas 25-22, 25-19, 25-21.

by: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT - JOUST - Southridge's Nicole Rigoni makes a play at the net during her team's playoff loss at Clackamas on Saturday night.

Southridge, ranked 14th, ended its year at 17-11, while the Cavaliers improved to 22-5 and advanced to the Class 6A state tournament, where they'll meet Sheldon at 3:15 p.m. Friday at Liberty High School.

“One of the team goals for the night was 'no regrets,'” said Southridge coach Brooke Mayo. “Each player left it all out on the court and I am so proud with how the entire team played.”

Southridge def. West Salem

Southridge hit the court running in its playoff opener against the Titans, winning 25-8 against the 19th-ranked Titans, the third-place finishers from the Central Valley Conference. West Salem picked it up in games two and three, but couldn't break through to win and the Skyhawks advanced with the three-game sweep at Southridge High School.

“My girls came out with a ton of energy and determination,” Mayo said. “West Salem definitely stepped up their game after that, but we kept the level of our play high and ended up beating them in three.”

Senior Kelli Derrah led the Skyhawks with 11 kills (no errors on 19 attempts), 16 digs, and four blocks, while senior Alexa Basauri had seven kills and four blocks, and junior Nicole Rigoni added six kills, five aces, eight digs, 13 assists and two blocks.

Clackamas def. Southridge

In their Saturday match at Clackamas High School, the Skyhawks battled from start to finish but couldn't quite get over the top against the talented Cavaliers.

“Clackamas is definitely a top team in state this season,” Mayo said. “We played Clackamas in the preseason and didn't compete with them, but the girls came into this match hungry for a rematch to prove themselves.”

That said, Clackamas wasn't about to let this one — and its attendant berth to the state tournament — get away. Southridge pushed the Cavaliers for all they were worth, but dropped the opener 25-22, game two by 25-19 and finally, the finale by 25-21.

“They came out each set with a lead and competed throughout each set,” Mayo said. “It was the best match we played all season.”

Derrah led the team with 10 kills, 11 digs and three blocks, while sophomore Sofia Basauri added six kills and two blocks, and sophomore Kelly McClean finished with 11 digs.

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