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Lady Braves blast Tigers

volleyball -- Banks girls split a pair of Cowapa league matches against Tillamook and Yamhill-Carlton to stay in second place
by: Tommy Whitcomb,

Tillamook got a measure of revenge against Banks on the volleyball court last Tuesday, beating the Lady Braves in four games to even the season series at 1-1 and land the teams in a tie for second place in the Cowapa standings.

Banks (6-3, 5-2) took Game 1, then sputtered out as Tillamook (11-2, 5-2) was able to sweep the next three games for a 23-25, 25-15, 25-17, 25-14 victory.

'We stuck right with them in the first game,' said Banks head coach Cherie Vandehey. 'Our defense played pretty well, but we just couldn't get our hits down and that's what tripped us up.'

Haley Schmidlin finished with a team-high 14 kills, while Banks teammates Andrea O'Connor, Kara Klopfenstein and Katie Brower each chipped in six. Cat Schorn had 18 assists as Banks fell into a tie with the Cheesemakers for second place in the league.

With the new schedule format, the two teams will meet one more time this season - at Tillamook on Oct. 11. If both teams hold steady until then, that match would determine which team takes the conference's No. 2 seed into the 4A state playoffs.

Banks rebounded with a three-game sweep of Yamhill-Carlton on Thursday, edging the Tigers 25-22, 25-20, 25-15 to remain two games behind league-leading Astoria.

O'Connor had 10 kills in the match and Whitney Blok chipped in nine more.

'They just didn't let anything drop,' Vandehey said of the Yamhill-Carlton defense. 'They're definitely a scrappy team. Just when you think the ball is down, it's not. They made us work for everything.'

Vandehey sees the battle against Tillamook for second place going right down to the wire.

'That last match against them will be huge,' she said. 'I really think Astoria will come out on top and it will be Banks and Tillamook vying for that second spot. They are good. We'll need to make some adjustments.'