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Lady Rangers undefeated in league

by: Clinton Vining, Estacada’s Melita Elliot (12) and Shikara White (9) block Stayton’s Madison Clark’s attack in Thursday’s win in Estacada. The Lady Rangers remain undefeated in the Capital Conference.

The Lady Rangers varsity volleyball team finished the first round of play in the 4A Capital Conference last week undefeated and began the second pass with a 3-0 victory over Stayton.

Estacada began last week with a 3-0 win over North Marion at home and beat Stayton 3-0 on Thursday at home. The Lady Rangers haven't lost a league game since their Sept. 12 match at Stayton. They won that match in 5 games.

'I thought we played our best volleyball of the year when we played Stayton,' said Estacada High School coach Melanie Hambelton. 'We played so well that I thought Stayton was never able to establish their game, or feel confident in their own play.'

Kaylene Ricci had six of the Lady Rangers' 15 aces against Stayton.

For the week, Brittany Barstad led the team defensively with 29 digs. Shikara White and Caelyn Jackson guarded the net with four and six blocks, respectively, between the two league matches. Melita Elliot set up the offense with 35 assists last week, and Jackson (12), White (12) and Devyn Callahan (8) shared the majority of the kills.

Over the weekend, the Lady Rangers snagged top honors on the coast at the Seaside Tournament. The girls in green and white beat Banks, Philomath and Taft in pool play. Estacada crushed Sisters in the first quarterfinals game 25-9, but Sisters battled back and won game two, 27-25. The Lady Rangers advanced to play LaGrande in the semifinals with a 15-4 win in game three.

The semis proved a tough match for Estacada, narrowly claiming victory 25-23, 27-29 and 15-6.

The finals were a repeat of last year's OSAA 3A State Volleyball Championships with Estacada paired with North Bend. Again, the Lady Rangers were victorious. Estacada won the first game 25-12, stumbled in game two 23-25 and won the decision maker 15-9.

'We played hard and came back in some tough situations,' Hambelton said.

Estacada's junior varsity team is also undefeated in league this year.

The varsity continues its season Wednesday at home against LaSalle at 6 p.m. After this week's match with the Falcons, the Lady Rangers only have one more home match: Oct. 19 against Molalla.