The Rams win the battle of unbeaten teams
by: David Ball, Gresham's Erica Vrvilo goes above the net for a block during the Gophers' three-game loss to Central Catholic on Monday Night.

Central Catholic's volleyball team showed why it is ranked No. 1 with a convincing three-game sweep against No. 3 Gresham on Monday night.

The Rams (6-0) emerged as the only unbeaten team left in the Mount Hood Conference after the 25-22, 25-18, 25-17 win.

Central used a six-point burst, the longest of the night, to recover from a 12-9 deficit in Game One. The opener featured four lead changes, but Gresham couldn't turn the tide back in its favor late. The Gophers closed the gap to two points, but Central maintained its slim lead when Aria Nojima ended a long volley by slamming a hard-hit kill off a Gophers' block and out of play.

'We had to win that first game,' Central coach Rick Lorenz said. 'Gresham plays with great emotion, but winning that first game took all the air out of their sails, and it certainly pumped us up.'

The Rams weren't challenged the rest of the way, building large leads early in Games 2 and 3. Gresham converted just 10 of 34 (.294) scoring chances on its serve in the final two games.

'Our offense never really clicked in tonight,' Gresham coach Lori Anderson said. 'We didn't get into a rhythm, and we didn't do anything to slow them down at the net.'

Central's Carly Corrado ended the match with a solid kill that whizzed between two Gresham blockers.

Look for extended volleyball coverage in the Wednesday, Sept. 27, issue of the Gresham Outlook.

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