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Hawks start the second half on the right foot

Southridge sweeps Beaverton, believes it can still secure one of the Metro League's three automatic playoff spots
by: Miles Vance WE WIN – Southridge junior Alexa Basauri celebrates a point in her team’s three-game sweep of Beaverton on Tuesday night at Southridge High School.

BEAVERTON - Beaverton's volleyball team was looking to break through on Tuesday night.

Southridge was looking to move up.

Only one team was going to get its way, and in this case, it was the Skyhawks who came through, rolling past the Beavers 25-9, 25-17, 25-12 at Southridge High School in the first match of the second half of Metro League play.

The win lifted Southridge's Metro record to 2-4 and a fourth-place tie with Westview, just a game behind Sunset for third place and the league's final automatic Class 6A state playoff berth.

'We want to win and we go out there and strive for that,' said Southridge senior outside hitter Gloria Valusek. 'We have the right mindset and the right attitude and that's what we practice.'

'We've been working really hard,' added Southridge junior middle blocker Alexa Basauri. 'Our policy is that if we're the hardest working team, then it will be a better and easier win.'

Beaverton, meanwhile, fell to 0-6 in league play but still believes it can compete and win in the Metro.

'We have a chance,' said Beaverton junior outside hitter Brooke Schwab. 'We just need that one game, just those couple plays that are going to be the things that get us going.'

The Beavers started fast on Tuesday night, racing out to a 6-2 lead thanks to two Schwab kills, but Southridge answered and answered back in a big way. The Skyhawks got a block from Nicole Rigoni for a sideout, and Rigoni then stepped to the line and served up 12 straight points (including four aces) to give her team a 15-6 lead.

Basauri followed up two rotations later to serve four straight points, making it 21-8 on a Valusek crosscourt kill from the left side. Erin Stuhldreher then served the game out with three straight aces for the 25-9 win.

'Our serve receive is pretty much just killing us right now,' Schwab said. 'We need to get that under control in practice and get our mindset in the games better.'

'We really work on (responding) in practice, having really tight games and practicing really hard,' Basauri said.

The Beavers were better, and hung around much longer, in game two, getting kills from Leia Walton (two), Schwab, Whitney Morrison, Justine Rennekamp and Annalise Beshears to trail the Skyhawks just 16-14.

But the Skyhawks pulled away from there, getting two Kelli Derrah kills, one each from Valusek and Basauri, and aces from Madi Lynn and Derrah to win 25-17.

The Skyhawks continued to serve well in game three, getting two aces from Rigoni and one each by Madi Lynn and Lauren Lynn to lead 12-5.

The Beavers cut their deficit to 16-11 on a missed Southridge serve but saw their luck run out there. Basauri scored on a free ball for a sideout, and Rigoni then served seven straight points - two of those on Derrah kills - to make it 24-11. Schwab notched a kill there, but Basauri then got a block to end the match at 25-12.

To see a complete photo gallery from this match, please go to www.milesvance.exposuremanager.com.