Volleyball -- Sherwood sweeps the Wildcats to move to 6-2 in NWOC volleyball play
by: JONATHAN HOUSE, SMACK IT – Sherwood’s Emily Van Stone (1) hits the ball over the net and past Wilsonville’s Kim Ohl for a point in the Lady Bowmen’s win over the Wildcats.

SHERWOOD - It had been many league matches since Sherwood beat Wilsonville.

Five or six years year's worth by anyone's best guess.

So when the surging Bowmen had a chance to put away the rival Wildcats in three games, Sherwood didn't hesitate to get the monkey off its back.

The Bowmen avenged a five-game loss to Wilsonville earlier this season by sweeping the Wildcats 25-21, 25-23, 25-20 on Thursday at Sherwood High School. The victory moved the Bowmen into a three-way tie for second in the Northwest Oregon Conference with the Wildcats and Glencoe at 6-2.

'We wanted to win so bad,' Sherwood senior outside hitter Whitney Ladzick said. 'Just pure determination and desire. We didn't give up at all.'

Ladzick blistered the Wildcats with a game-high 13 kills, including a swing from setter Megan Van Noy that banged off Wilsonville's libero and flew into the stands to set up match point at 24-19 in game 3. The Wildcats won the next point, but Sherwood finished out the victory when middle hitter Cheri Loranzana took a quick set from Van Noy and smacked a kill off a Wildcat back row player.

'They just always beat us,' said Loranzana, who had 10 kills. 'We came out ready tonight to beat them. Our practices help us a lot. We go all out and try new things all the time. That definitely prepares us for the game.'

The Bowmen sure were ready for Wilsonville and its standout middle blocker Eliza Pledger. The 6-foot-3 Pledger managed a team-high 11 kills, but was absent from the Wildcats' offense for much of the match.

'Our main goal with Eliza is just shutting her down,' Ladzick said. 'If we do, we shut the whole team down.'

There was no stopping Ladzick, though. Wilsonville jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the final game before Sherwood went on a 10-3 run capped by Ladick's kill for a 12-9 lead it wouldn't relinquish.

Sophomore middle hitter Lauren Codling's attack into the back row made it 19-15 before Codling and junior Brooke Davis combined for a block of Wilsonville's Danielle West that sprung the Bowmen to the win.

'There were not many shots that we didn't have the right person in the right spot,' Sherwood coach Steve Suttich said. 'We weren't waiting for them to lose. We were going for the win.'

Sherwood did so moments later on Loranzana's kill and also closed strong in the first two games to set up the sweep.

The Bowmen trailed 18-13 in the first game before riding the serving of senior Emily Bailey and Ladzick on an 8-1 run. Loranzana capped the spurt when she took a quick set from Van Noy, who had a game-high 25 assists, and slammed the ball into the middle of the Wildcats' back row for a 21-19 lead.

Wilsonville mishandled senior Katrina Krempley's serve then had an attack sail wide to set up game point. A Wildcat service error gave Sherwood a 1-0 games lead.

'Our problem in the past is that we got down on ourselves,' Ladzick said. 'It seemed like they were the ones getting down tonight. It's nice to finally have it happen on their side of the net.'

Sherwood trailed 8-2 early in the second game before again rallying to close within a point at 15-14 when a Wilsonville attack went long. But Pledger followed with a block and back-to-back service aces for a 18-14 lead.

A tip for a kill by Wildcat hitter Lizzie Falconer made it 21-17 when the Bowmen again closed strong. Sherwood used a 4-0 run to tie the game at 21-21 when Van Noy quick set Codling for a clean kill into the middle of Wilsonville's back row.

The Wildcats regained the lead on Falconer's tip, but Wilsonville was called for a net violation on the next point and Ladzick followed by stuffing a bad set for a 23-22 Sherwood lead.

Ladzick's cross-court kill landed down the right sideline to set up game point. Pledger's kill kept the Wildcats alive before Ladzick's solid slam down the left sideline finished off the first game.

Sherwood fed off the momentum, as well as that gained in handing first-place Liberty its first league loss Tuesday, Oct. 3, to sweep past Wilsonville.

'We've made some good progress,' Suttich said. 'This group has been 3-9 the last three years and now we're 6-2. We had to change the mentality of some of the players.'

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