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Madras spikers crush Henley

Buffs cruise to easy win

by: Billy Gates/The Pioneer - Madras’ Sarah Brown blocks a Henley attack during Saturday night’s Class 4A play-in volleyball match at Madras High School. The Buffs blasted the Hornets in straight sets to advance to the OSAA Round of 16 this weekend.

The Madras volleyball team began the Class 4A postseason in style, clobbering Klamath Falls' Henley Hornets in straight sets Saturday at Madras High School.
   Set scores were 25-14, 25-11 and 25-19.
   The White Buffalos overwhelmed the Hornets, the third-place team from the Skyline Conference, from start to finish with a quick attack that kept pressure on the visitors all night long.
   "All around, we've moved together as a group and set the ball well and were aggressive," Madras head coach Jamie Smith said. "We forced Henley into some errors and took advantage of them."
   Madras simply did not allow themselves to play into Henley's hands and kept the pedal to the floor with hard and relentless attacking, led by Alexis Urbach's 11 kills.
   Urbach had a big kill in the first set to end the longest rally of the game, which gave the Buffs an 18-9 lead.
   In the second set, Urbach capped a Madras 5-0 run with a vicious spike off a short set that hit a Henley defender in the face and nearly knocked her to the floor.
   Sophomore Shelby Mauritson continued the scoring with a kill to make the second set 17-9 and completely out of the Hornets' reach.
   "Before the game, we just talked about not beating ourselves," Mauritson said. "We don't want to lose to a team that's not better than us."
   Sarah Brown chipped in two kills right after Mauritson, then the Buffs put it on cruise control from there to take the second set easily.
   The third set had the Hornets put up a bit more of a fight, and they actually held a lead at times, but the Buffs' attack again overpowered their front line.
   Urbach had a solo block for the Buffs so they could take the lead at 10-9, then Elle Renault smacked a kill to extend the lead to 11-9. Those plays started a 7-0 Madras run that ended up being all the distance the Buffs needed to close out the set and the match.
   "The beauty of our team is that if someone is having an off night, someone else can make it up for it," Smith said. "Our team knows what to do this time of year. We talked about what kind of potential we have and if we've even shown it yet."
   Since the rest of the play-in games weren't over until Tuesday evening, the Buffs' next opponent was unknown by the Pioneer's press deadline. Smith said the team will probably be on the road Saturday when they play next, no matter who they play.
   As far as Mauritson is concerned, she doesn't care who they play. She thinks the team can play, and beat, anyone that steps on the floor with them.
   "We've been playing pretty good, and I think if we play our hardest, we can beat anybody," she said.