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Clackamas is on track for its best season in years

The Cavaliers all but lock up second place in league with a sweep of Lakeridge

LAKE OSWEGO - With a four-game win over ninth-ranked Lakeridge at Lakeridge on Oct. 5, the seventh-ranked Clackamas Cavaliers all but wrapped up a top two finish in Three Rivers League volleyball.

'We're two games ahead of Lakeridge with four league games remaining,' said Clackamas coach Jim Stultz. 'I'm pretty confident we'll finish at least second.'

Last week's win over Lakeridge was the second over the Pacers this season. It left the Cavaliers 7-1 in league with matches remaining with Lake Oswego (3-5), third-ranked West Linn (7-0), Milwaukie (0-8) and Oregon City (4-3). Lakeridge slipped to 5-3.

'Should we finish first or second [in league], I think it will be our best finish since 1996, when we tied West Linn for first,' said Stultz, whose Cavaliers were swept by Lakeridge last year.

The Cavaliers had their hands full in stopping the Pacers last Thursday, 25-17, 25-15, 23-25, 25-23.

Clackamas dominated in the first two games, but the Pacers fired up in the third and fourth games and made things interesting.

'The difference from last year is now if the girls lose a game, they have confidence,' said Stultz. 'They stay steady and keep battling, instead of losing their composure and panicking….

'I was proud of the girls the way they kept their composure and pulled through in a very emotional and important match.'

Beth Hanna (14 kills), Kimmee Middlebrooks (8 kills) and April Severyn (7 kills) headed up the Cavalier offense against the Pacers.

Natalie Clements and Natalie Carper had nine blocks between them.

Hannah Souter, Severyn and Hanna were tough at the service line.

In last week's other match, the Cavaliers dispatched with Putnam in three games, 25-10, 25-14 and 25-13.

Hanna (10 kills) and Severyn (8 kills) played strong games on offense.

Crystal Bradford had five service aces.

Bradford, April Kaelin and Taylor Isaacs excelled on serve-receive.

The Cavaliers meet West Linn next Tuesday at West Linn.

Oregon City (4-3) was fourth in the TRL standings entering play this week. The Pioneers defeated Putnam 25-11, 24-26, 25-23 and 25-17 in their only match last week.

Putnam coach Shelly Smith said her charges played their best match of the season in defeat.

Putnam statistical leaders were Jenny Jacoby with eight kills out of 17 attacks, and 16 assists; Aubrie Concannon with 14 digs, Taryn Lockard with 10 digs, and Patty Blakley with seven digs.

Stacy Meads and Katie Cook were team leaders for Milwaukie, as the Mustangs fell to Lakeridge (25-15, 25-18, 25-10) in an Oct. 3 league match.

Meads made three blocks and Cook had eight digs. Cook had eight digs and Kelcy Austin played a strong game at the net in an Oct. 5 loss at Lake Oswego (25-6, 25-7, 25-11).