Wins over Molalla and Madras prepare team for strong showing at 6A tournament

In another busy week of action, the Estacada volleyball team continued their impressive start to the season with two league sweeps and a great showing at a 6A tournament.

The week began with the team traveling to Molalla, where they rolled easily, sweeping the match 25-9, 25-12 and 25-19.

With a new setter in the lineup due to an illness, Sarah Davies was impressive throughout the match as she teamed with Nicholete Randall to create a nearly unstoppable force at the net. Randall finished the match with 15 kills, while Davies and Haley Lusher combined for nine aces in the victory.

Last Thursday the girls played visiting Madras, which came into the match with a 5-6 record on the season. While Madras proved tougher than Molalla, the Rangers still cruised to a 3-0 victory, winning 25-22, 25-23 and 25-19.

'Madras is just as tough as they were last year,' head coach Shawna Lippert said, 'and they started out very strong and surprised my girls with a force to be reckoned with.'

The White Buffaloes actually jumped out to a 16-9 lead in the first game, but the Rangers refused to drop a game at home as they ended the game on a 16-6 run to win.

In the second game, Madras was ahead 22-19, but once again the Rangers countered with a run of their own. Behind strong serving from Elena Manovella and Davies, the Rangers ended the game with a 6-1 lead before coasting in the third and final game.

Manovella finished the match with a team-high 16 digs while Sam Hammons had eight kills.

The week was far from over for the Rangers, however, as they participated in a tournament in Oregon City over the weekend made up of 6A teams from around the area.

Despite playing larger schools, the girls remained unfazed as they escaped pool play in first place with wins over Oregon City and Centennial and a split with Westview.

The Rangers were matched up with Newberg in the quarterfinals and they won easily, 25-15 and 25-15. That win put Estacada in the semifinals for a rematch with Westview, but the Wildcats turned out to be just a little too much for the Rangers to handle.

Estacada battled for a 25-19 win in the first game, but Westview came back to win the next two 25-16 and 25-9 to advance to the finals.

'The first game was one of our team's best defensive games of the year. and we've been working very hard in practice on our defense,' Lippert said. 'I received so many compliments on our defense at the tournament that it just goes to show that working hard at practice pays off.'

Rachel Lowe led the Rangers in the tournament with 26 kills while Mariah Roley was the team's most improved player with 11 digs against Westview.

The Rangers travel to La Salle on Thursday in a rematch between the two top teams in the league last season.

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