Volleyball: Tigard comes back from a 10-point deficit in the third game to get the win
by: DAN BROOD TIGARD POINT — Tigard’s (from left) Lauren Becker, Valerie Hughes and Bonnie Blood celebrate a point during the Tigers’ three-game sweep of Newberg.

TIGARD - It's probably not a recommended strategy to follow.

But it sure seemed to work out fine for the Tigard High School volleyball team.

The Tigers, coming from behind in all three games - including a 10-point deficit in the third game - posted a 25-10, 25-16, 25-23 sweep over Newberg in a Pacific Conference match played last Thursday at Tigard High School.

'That wasn't quite the plan, but it worked,' Tigard senior outside hitter Kylee Rosette said after the match. 'We started slow. That's been an issue with us at times, but we were able to pull together.'

'That was a lot of fun,' Tigard senior defensive specialist/setter Hannah Coursolle said. 'We knew when we needed to push.'

Newberg fell to 5-8 in league matches at that point with the loss. Tigard improved to 11-2 with the victory, solidifying the Tigers' grip on second place in the league standings.

Tigard also finished its regular-season schedule with a victory, posting a 25-15, 25-7, 25-7 home win over Hillsboro on Tuesday.

The Tigers will next be in action on Wednesday when it opens play in the Class 6A state playoffs, possibly with a home first-round match.

'We're so excited for the playoffs,' Coursolle said. 'We're ready to go. This is a great group of girls and we have great chemistry. We're all best friends.'

'We're looking forward to it,' Rosette said of the playoffs. 'We really want to get past the first round. We need to make sure our defense is good and to stick together.'

And, following last Thursday's match with Newberg, the Tigers also know they can come from behind if they need to.

In the first game of last week's match, Tigard didn't need a big rally. The homestanding Tigers found themselves trailing Newberg 2-0 and 5-4 early in the game.

Tigard, with junior Valerie Hughes serving, scoring three straight points to take a 7-5 lead. Tigard kept the lead the rest of the game.

A block by sophomore Lindsey Rosette gave Tigard an 8-6 lead. Then, with Coursolle serving and with sophomore Michelle Simmons scoring on a kill off a set by junior Lauren Becker, the Tigers added on three more quick points to push the margin to 11-6.

Tigard kept rolling from there. A kill by Kylee Rosette, a block by senior Bonnie Blood and a point on serve by junior Cassidy Freeman made the score 16-8.

Then, leading 20-10, Tigard, with Becker serving and Blood standing tall at the net, closed out the game. Blood scored the final three point of the game, the first coming on a kill and the next two on blocks to wrap up the 25-10 win.

But the visiting Tigers got off to a blazing start to the second game. With senior Mikayla Reed serving, Newberg sprinted out to a fast 5-0 lead.

But the home team fought its way back. Tigard tied the game at 6-6 on a kill by Kylee Rosette off a Becker set. Newberg quickly regained the league, but Tigard rallied again, taking the led for good, at 11-10, on a point on serve by Becker.

Tigard started rolling from there. The Tigers, with senior Sam Debenedetti serving, scored three straight points to take a 16-11 lead.

Tigard, leading 21-16 after getting a sideout tip by Simmons, closed out the second game in a flurry. With Freeman serving, the Tigers got a kill by Kylee Rosette, a block by Blood, another kill by Rosette and a tip by Becker to clinch the come-from-behind 25-16 second-game win.

However, in the third game, it looked doubtful that Tigard would get the sweep.

Newberg jumped out to a quick 9-3 lead in the game. The visiting Tigers went on to open up a 17-7 advantage.

But that didn't seem to deter Tigard.

'Right then I said 'this is it, it's time to push,'' Coursolle said. 'It never crossed my mind that we would have to go to a fourth game.'

'I never thought we couldn't win it,' Kylee Rosette said. 'I had no doubt that we could come back.'

And Tigard's comeback started with a kill by Lindsey Rosette, making the score 17-8.

The score was at 20-11 when Tigard made another big push. A Newberg error and a point on serve by Lindsey Rosette made the score 20-13.

Kylee Rosette then scored three straight points, on a tip and back-to-back kills, all coming off of sets by Becker, trimming the margin to 20-16.

But Newberg, for the moment, fought off the rally and upped its lead to 22-17. But Tigard was relentless.

Debenedetti scored when Newberg couldn't field her clutch dig and Coursolle had an ace serve to help trim the margin to 22-20. A Tigard error gave Newberg a 23-20 lead, but the visitors wouldn't score again.

A sideout tip by Kylee Rosette cut the margin to 23-21. Then, with Freeman serving, Tigard rolled off four straight points - one coming on a kill by Blood and one on a tip by Kylee Rosette to come back and get the improbable 25-23 third-game victory to complete the sweep.

'It was unbelievable,' Coursolle said. 'That shows we're a hard-working team.'

'That was crazy exciting,' Kylee Rosette said.

'We've developed a lot of character like that,' Coelho said. 'The girls are taking responsibility. And we have a great group of fans. That helps a lot - a tremendous amount.'

Tigard, if it wins its first-round state playoff match on Wednesday, will advance to play in the second round of the state playoffs on Nov. 5.

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