Crook County takes second at Kent Classic

Volleyball team falls to Central Catholic in championship match

by: PHOTO COURTESY OF HEATHER FRASER - Makayla Lindburg and Annie Fraser go up for a block against Issaquah in the Kent Classic Volleyball Tournament which was held in Kent, Wash. on Saturday. The Cowgirls finished second in the tournament.

For the second consecutive year, Oregon teams have dominated the Kent Classic Invitational Volleyball Tournament.
   The tournament is intended to showcase the top teams in Washington. Instead, for the past two seasons Oregon schools have made the event their private playground. Out of just four Oregon schools in the 34-team tournament, three reached the quarterfinals, while Portland’s Central Catholic and Crook County played for the championship.
   “I was real happy,” said Crook County head coach Rosie Honl. “That was their goal. We sat down before the season and set goals to go undefeated at Summit’s Jamboree, win the Mountain View Tournament, and take second or better in this tournament, and so far we’ve made all of our goals.”
   In a repeat of last year’s championship, the Central Catholic Rams defeated the Cowgirls to win the tournament championship. However, unlike last year’s championship the Cowgirls made it a fight.
   The Rams used their superior height and depth to eventually wear out the Cowgirls. After getting behind 7-1 early in the first game Crook County rallied and had their chances before finally falling 25-23. Crook County looked tired in the second game of the match as Central Catholic pulled away for a 25-16 win.
   “To play Central Catholic so close that was great,” Honl said. “They are so good.”
   Central Catholic is the three-time defending Oregon Class 6A state champions. They feature 6-3 Raina Hembry, who will play in College at the University of Tennessee. The Rams were without one of their other 6-3 stars, Kailee Johnson, who was on a basketball recruiting trip to USC.
   Even without Johnson, the Rams were one of the tallest teams in the tournament, and are laden with talent. Still despite having just one 6-0 player on their roster the Cowgirls were able to make the match close. Honl credited the hitting of Makayla Lindburg and Hannah Troutman for making the match close.
   “They were just bringing it,” Honl said. “Rick Lorenz (Central Catholic’s head coach) said it was the toughest hitting he had seen all day.”
   The Rams reached the finals by going undefeated in pool play, then knocking off Spokane’s Mead High School 25-16, 25-21 in the tournament semifinals. Meanwhile Crook County had more difficulty reaching the championship.
   The Cowgirls went undefeated in their first pool, knocking off Issaquah and Emerald Ridge in straight sets. Crook County had more difficulty in their second pool of the day, splitting games with Skyline and Camas. Skyline and Camas also split their games leaving the three teams in a tie for first place in the pool.
   However, Crook County won the tiebreaker over both teams due to point differential. Crook County defeated Skyline 25-13 in game one while dropping game two 25-21. Against Camas the Cowgirls won their first game 25-16 before falling 25-21 in game two.
   With the tiebreaker win, the Cowgirls earned a berth in the championship bracket where they faced Curtis in a semifinal matchup.
   Against Curtis Crook County held a 23-22 lead in game one. However, Curtis was able to rally, scoring the final three points of the set to take a 25-23 win. The Cowgirls rallied to take the second set 25-22 setting up a showdown to 15 in the third and final set. Curtis jumped out to the early lead, and led 13-8 late in the match before Crook County was able to rally and score the final seven points of the match to take a dramatic 15-13 victory.
   If there was any doubt about the quality of the teams Crook County faced in pool play it was answered during bracket play. Camas went on to win the silver bracket, while Skyline defeated Emerald Ridge in the bronze bracket championship.
   The Cowgirls were led throughout the tournament by Lindburg and Troutman. Lindburg finished with 73 kills while adding 37 digs and 11 blocks. Meanwhile Troutman finished with a team-high 52 digs and was second on the team in kills with 46.
   Kayla Hamilton had a solid game running the Crook County offense. The sophomore setter finished with 122 assists as Crook County amassed 160 kills on the day.
   Karlee Hollis and Annie Fraser also had solid offensive days. Hollis finished with 20 kills while Fraser added 18 and led the Cowgirls in aces with eight.
   With the second place finish the Cowgirls are now 11-2 on the season. The team is back in action tonight when they go on the road to take on Bend Senior High who is ranked first in the latest Class 5A power rankings. The Cowgirls are back in action again on Thursday when they host the Redmond Panthers. Both matches are scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.