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Crusaders sweep by Wildcats

VOLLEYBALL: Jesuit hits on all cylinders in its win over Westview
by: MILES VANCE, OH YEAH – Jesuit sophomore outside hitter Micaela Bisio (left) celebrates a point with teammate Erin Kilroy during their team’s three-game sweep of Westview at Jesuit High School this week.

BEAVERTON - One by one, foe by foe, win by win, Jesuit's volleyball team just keeps rolling along.

The Crusaders won their fourth consecutive Metro League match - and 90th straight in league play - on Tuesday when they swept past Westview 25-12, 25-12, 25-17 at Jesuit High School. The victory kept Jesuit (4-0) in a first-place tie with Southridge (4-0), while the Wildcats fell to 2-2 and a third-place tie with Sunset. The Crusaders play at Southridge at 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday).

'It was a great game,' said Jesuit junior middle blocker Mary Claire Brenner. 'We came out with a lot of fire and did our thing.'

'Westview's tough. They play good defense,' said Jesuit coach Teresa Zimmerlee. 'But we have a few pretty good weapons ourselves and we're playing pretty good defense right now.'

The Wildcats were predictably disappointed with the loss, but remained confident in their ability and their future.

'We really wanted to win,' said sophomore outside hitter Nicole Phelps. 'We got better as the games went on. We started playing. We just need to work hard and move our feet and talk it up.'

That said, the Crusaders just had too much firepower on Tuesday. Jesuit led just 5-3 in game one when Erin Kilroy stepped up to serve five straight points, two of them Brenner kills and another on an ace, to lead 10-3.

Jesuit strung together three more points to lead 16-5, and then three more to go up 21-7 before Westview answered with its best stretch of the opening game. The Wildcats put together four straight points with Monica Kirnak serving, including a Stacie Appel kill and a block by Bailey Williams, to move within 21-11 before the Crusaders closed it out at 25-12.

Game two followed a similar format, with the Wildcats hanging close early - they led 6-5 on a Jesuit error with Appel serving - and Jesuit taking off from there. Once they hit their stride, the Crusaders ripped off seven straight points with Kilroy serving, four straight on Brenner kills and another on a hit by Sam Waters.

The Cats answered with a block for point from Katelyn Comfort and Julianna Evola and a Phelps ace to cut the gap to 14-10, but Jesuit closed the game on an 11-2 run, three of those on kills by senior middle blocker Kayla Hughes.

Jesuit started quickly in game three, racing out to a 9-3 edge, but couldn't put the Wildcats away quite as easily this time. Westview kept its deficit at six points - at 19-13 - thanks to two kills each from Phelps and Maryah Jackson, but Jesuit buckled down there.

Two missed Westview serves, a Kilroy ace and kills by Hughes and Alicia Milo closed out the match at 25-17.

'We have really good team chemistry,' Brenner explained. 'We get along really well. We have a ton of fun together. We're all very competitive girls and we all bring out the best in each other.'

'Our defensive transition was much better and so was our blocking,' said Zimmerlee, whose team played without starting outside hitter Liz Dick, who was resting a twisted ankle. 'The other kids are stepping in and playing really well.'

For Westview, which hosts Sunset at 7 p.m. tonight, the Wildcats' focus was on the improvements they've already made this season.

'We're definitely a lot closer, ' Phelps said. 'We can hit so much better and we're getting in the right spots and passing a lot better.'