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Volleyball teams prepare for key matches

The Lake Oswego volleyball team is currently enjoying the calm before next week's storm. The Lakers rolled over West Linn and Canby in their two most recent league matches, winning each in straight sets to stay just one game behind Clackamas for the league title.

The Lakers also cruised to a relatively easy victory at last weekend's North Salem tournament, winning the championship without dropping a set.

“We've been gaining confidence and been steady and decisive in our victories,” coach Christy Burnett said.

Lake Oswego continues to put together one of its best seasons in school history but it knows that its biggest challenges lie ahead as the team prepares for the playoffs.

The Lakers will have their rematch with Clackamas next Tuesday on the Cavaliers' senior night and then face Lakeridge on the road in what is always an emotional match.

Then, Lake Oswego is scheduled to play in the West Linn Tournament which traditionally features some of the top teams in the state.

“You always want to be playing your best late in the season so it's nice to go up against those teams,” Burnett said.

The Lakers are currently 17-2 and ranked sixth in the state according to the OSAA. A league title is always a goal but Lake Oswego is hoping for an extended playoff run as well.

“We have the ability to be one of those elite teams. Realistically we're four points away from being perfect this year,” Burnett said.

The Lakers are still looking to tighten up their fundamentals, focusing on serving and passing and are hoping to improve their defense as well as they gear up to take on a handful of top-10 teams.

“We're a very good offensive team but we want to be more consistent on our block,” Burnett said.

Lakeridge has also had plenty of recent success. The Pacers fought hard against Clackamas last week, nearly taking a set off one of the state's top teams.

Lakeridge then won the consolation bracket of the Westview Tournament over the weekend. Lakeridge was scheduled to play a key match against West Linn on Tuesday but the game was postponed until Wednesday because of a fire at West Linn's gym.