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Tigers tripped by Century in league opener

Volleyball: Tigard looks to get better following the setback to the Jaguars
by: DAN BROOD GOING UP — Tigard's Bonnie Blood (left) and Valerie Hughes reach up in an attempt to block a shot by Century's Raquel Mellick in Tuesday's match.

TIGARD - It wasn't exactly the way the Tigard High School volleyball team wanted to start Pacific Conference play.

But the Tigers will be looking to turn that disappointment into a positive.

Tigard is hoping to bounce back strong after it suffered a 25-16, 25-17, 25-15 loss to Century in a Pacific Conference match - featuring a pair of expected league title contenders - played Tuesday at Tigard High School.

'We have a lot we can improve on,' Tigard senior outside hitter Kylee Rosette said after the match. 'It was hard to lose this. We really wanted this one. But now we know what we need to work on and our practices will be more intense.'

'We expected them to be tough,' Tigard coach Robert Coelho said. 'And they played better than we did tonight. I think now we recognize that we're not all that. But we'll get better.'

Tigard did have some bright moments and put together some nice runs during Tuesday's match, but the talented Jaguars always seemed to answer with a run of their own.

'I think we have a lot of talent,' Rosette said. 'We'll keep getting better and I think this year will turn out to be a highlight.'

Century got off to a strong start to the match. The Jaguars jumped out to leads of 10-3, 16-7 and 23-12 in the opening game of the contest.

Tigard tried to fight back late in the game. The Tigers got back-to-back kills by sophomore outside hitter Lindsey Rosette off sets by junior Lauren Becker to cut the lead to 23-16.

But Century, getting consecutive points on a kill by junior Jordan Deming and a block by junior Raquel Mellick, ended the Tigard rally and wrapped up the 25-16 win in the opening game of the match.

Century also got off to a quick start in the second game. The visitors took a 4-1 lead following an ace serve by freshman Kyla Militante-Amper.

Tigard immediately fought back. Senior Bonnie Blood and Kylee Rosette recorded back-to-back kills to trim the margin to 4-3. But the Tigers weren't able to get the equalizer.

Century scored 10 of the next 14 points in the game to push its lead to 14-7.

Tigard again tried to battle back. With Kylee Rosette serving, the Tigers rolled off six straight points to again get within one, at 14-13.

But the persistent Jaguars once more wouldn't let Tigard tie things up. Century answered with an 8-2 run on its way to winning the second game of the match 25-17.

Tigard took the early lead in the third game, when, with senior Hannah Coursolle serving, Blood put down a kill off a set by Becker to give the Tigers a 3-1 advantage.

But Century would tie things up at 4-4, and then take a 5-4 lead on a Tigard service error. And the Jaguars would keep that lead the rest of the way.

Century took a 17-11 lead on another Tigard error. A tip by Kylee Rosette made the score 17-12, but the Tigers wouldn't be able to get any closer as the Jaguars closed out the match with a 25-15 third-game win.

'I think they're going to be our main competition,' Kylee Rosette said. 'And I can't wait to play them again.'

'They're a team to beat,' Coelho said. 'And they're a tough opponent to play this early. But I don't think anyone is going to go undefeated in league this year. A lot of teams could be any other team any night.'

Tigard will look to bounce back tonight (Thursday) when it plays at Glencoe in a Pacific Conference match starting at 6:45 p.m.

On Saturday, the Tigers will play at the Southridge tournament. Tigard will be back home Tuesday to host Forest Grove in a league match starting at 6:45 p.m.