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Cavs shake the Lion monkey

Clackamas volleyers beat West Linn for the first time in 15 years

CLACKAMAS - The Lion 'monkey' is off their backs and the Clackamas Cavaliers plan on going all the way in volleyball this season.

The Cavaliers thrilled home fans on Sept. 20, when they opened Three Rivers League play with a three-game sweep of the West Linn Lions, winning 25-22, 25-20, 25-15.

It was the first time the Cavaliers had won a match from the 15-time defending TRL champion Lions since 1996.

'We expected to win, but not in three,' said Clackamas senior co-captain Shantel Gritsch. 'We thought it would go to four or five games. It wasn't as hard as we expected.'

'I think the key for us was just being confident,' said Clackamas senior co-captain Anna Chizum. 'I don't know if it's been a lack of confidence, or what, but in past years we've come close, but we've just not been able to beat them. This year, we knew we could beat them.'

'We've had a young team the last couple of years,' said Gritsch. 'A lot of us have been on varsity since we were freshmen, and we've all got experience playing together."

Chizum added, '[Beating West Linn is] a big deal. It's great to beat West Linn. But we've also beaten Aloha and Jesuit, and we're ranked second in state. It's been a long time since Clackamas has been ranked that high….

'We think we have a really good chance this year of going all the way to the state championship match.'

Clackamas volleyball teams have never won a state championship. Their highest finish was in 1974, when they finished runner-up to Churchill.

The Cavaliers had a balanced attack in last week's match with the Lions, led by junior outside hitter Shelby Vasconcellos-Mattocks (12 kills), senior outside hitter Kelsie Christensen (7 kills) and senior middle blocker Nicole Lisoski (7 kills).

Chizum set the tone for the match, with six service aces.

Junior setter Hannah Stultz had 28 assists.

Senior libero Shantel Gritsch came up with 19 successful digs; Vasconcellos-Mattocks had 13 digs.

The Cavaliers continued on track last Thursday, when they breezed by Canby in three games 25-7, 25-14, 25-19.

Vasconcellos-Mattocks had 11 kills in the three games. Mikaela Lisoski and Christensen had six and five kills respectively.

Stultz had 19 assists and nine digs.

Clackamas (2-0) and Lake Oswego (2-0) were the only TRL teams to go undefeated in the first week of league play. The Lakers defeated Canby in three games and Lakeridge in five games.

OC tips

Lakeridge

Oregon City volleyers launched their season in form on Sept. 20, defeating Lakeridge in a hard fought five-game match at Lakeridge, 23-25, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21and 16-14.

'I was pleasantly surprised,' said Oregon City coach Syd Yamasaki. 'We haven't been playing too well lately. We've been trying to reconfigure our team after losing so many players to graduation.... I was pleased. They played steady and they never panicked. They never quit, even when they got behind.'

Veteran Sam Harthun headed the effort with 12 kills. Senior Raechel Schimpf came through with nine kills; junior Mykala Rubey had four kills.

Yamasaki said he was pleased with the play of seniors Sabrina Jones and Teagan Driver and sophomore Dani Stevens, who have been battling for playing time at the Pioneers' two setter positions.

The Pioneers competed but came up short on Thursday, dropping a three-game match to West Linn, 25-12, 25-23, 26-24.

Kingsmen

drop Sandy

In Class 5A, Putnam split in Northwest Oregon Conference action last week, while the Mustangs (0-4) dropped matches to Wilsonville and Sherwood.

The Kingsmen (2-2) got it done on Sept. 20, taking down Sandy in four games, 25-10, 19-25, 25-20, 25-14. They came up short on Sept. 22, yielding at Liberty, 25-14, 25-19, 25-16. Liberty (4-0) finished the week as the lone unbeaten team in the eight team NWOC.

Mackenzie Huddleston had 10 kills in the Liberty match. Caprial Sides and Katelyn Knight had 17 successful digs between them in the losing effort.

Milwaukie last week took Wilsonville to four games, losing 21-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-15.

Falcons win

a barnburner

MADRAS - La Salle's volleyball team began Tri-Valley Conference play on track Thursday, winning at Madras. But the win did not come easily.

The Falcons won in five games, 25-23, 16-25, 25-22, 27-29, 15-12.

'The match was an emotional roller coaster,' said La Salle coach Liz Banta. 'We were ahead 22-16 in the fourth set and ended up losing 29-27....

'We were pretty fundamentally sound, but we're making too many unforced errors. Fortunately we have a lot of experience, which was a key to pulling out the win.

'Overall, it was an exhausting week, with two five-set matches.'

The Falcons won a nonleague match at Astoria on Sept. 20, 25-18, 25-27, 25-10, 23-25, 15-8.

Senior Ali Brown had 12 kills and sophomore Danielle Spirlin came through with seven kills to head up the effort at Madras.