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Cowgirls roll past Cougars

Despite a sub par serving performance team is able to win in straight sets

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Makayla Lindburg goes up for a tip during the Cowgirls three-set victory over the Mountain View Cougars on Tuesday night. Lindburg led the Cowgirls with 19 kills, including seven in the third and deciding set.

The Crook County Cowgirls overcame a slow Tuesday as the six-time defending Class 4A state champions rolled past Class 5A Mountain View in straight sets Tuesday night.
   “I’m so happy with the way you took the pressure,” head coach Rosie Honl told her team following the match. “It was pretty impressive how you stood up to it.”
   Led by Makalya Lindburg’s 19 kills, the Cowgirls took a 25-22, 25-20, 25-20 victory over a senior-laden Mountain View squad.
   “I was worried about this match,” Honl said. “They have nine seniors so they are mature and they have played tones of club ball. You never know what is going to happen.”
   Mountain View rolled to an early 8-3 lead in game one. However, the Cowgirls calmly came back to tie the set 9-9. Lindburg was instrumental in the comeback, hitting eight consecutive serves as the Cowgirls rolled to a 13-9 lead, appearing to take control of the set.
   However, Mountain View battled back, taking advantage of Crook County service errors to regain the lead. The Cougars led 22-21 before the Cowgirls scored the final four points of the set.
   Set two was close the entire way with the two teams trading blows. Tied 17-17, the Cowgirls rolled off the next five points to take control.
   The Cowgirls trailed 6-3 early in the final set until Annie Fraser served 10 consecutive points. Lindburg was especially impressive during the run, recording five kills, as the Cowgirls put the match away.
   Crook County rolled out to a 20-10 lead, then substituted freely the rest of the match.
   The one weak point for the Cowgirls in the match was serving, as the team finished with an uncharacteristically high 16 service errors.
   “Our serving needs to get better,” Honl said. “But overall it was a great job.”
   The two bright spots for the Cowgirls from the service line were Karlee Hollis and Fraser. Hollis was 10-11 from the line with an ace, while Fraser finished 17-19 with a pair of aces.
   In addition to her 19 kills, Lindburg also recorded four blocks and nine digs.
   Hannah Troutman was nearly as efficient, adding 13 kills and leading the team in digs with 14. Hollis added seven kills and Kathryn Kaonis finished with five as the Cowgirls recorded 48 kills as a team.
   However, it was the play of setter Kayla Hamilton that especially pleased Honl.
   “Kayla set a great match,” Honl said. “She is going to our hitters now.”
   Hamilton was also pleased with her performance.
   “I was getting more accurate with my setting,” she said. “I think we did a lot better than we did in our last two games.”
   The Cowgirls are now 8-1 on the season, and are sixth in the latest Class 4A power rankings. Meanwhile, Mountain View has dropped to 2-4 on the year.
   Crook County is back in action Saturday when they travel to Kent, Wash., for the Kent Classic Invitational Tournament.
   “Every game is tough there,” Honl said. “Nobody got any playing time except for the starters last year because they are all quality teams.”