The Kingsmen make it four in a row in NWOC play

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Putnam senior Amanda Burge (8) powers the ball past Milwaukie middle blocker Emily Downs in last weeks match with the Mustangs. The Kingsmen defeated the Mustangs 25-10, 25-16, 25-15, avenging an earlier loss.The Rex Putnam Kingsmen have been hot in recent Northwest Oregon Conference volleyball matches.

The Kingsmen last week made it four league wins in a row, dispatching with then seventh-ranked Liberty and cross-town rival Milwaukie, both in three-game matches.

Last week’s win over Liberty (25-17, 25-20, 25-13) was only the Falcons’ third loss in their first 15 matches, and it avenged an earlier loss.

The three-game win over Milwaukie (25-10, 25-16, 25-15) also avenged an earlier loss.

“We’ve been really focussed on taking care of the little things,” said Putnam coach Richard Haner. “Our passing is much better, and it sets up our offense....

“I think we have two of the better outside hitters in the league in Katelyn Knight and Lindsay Bartholomew. Caprial Sides, our libero, she’s doing a great job passing. And Emma Klesser, our setter, is doing a phenomenal job. She’s turned into one of the best setters in the league.

“She reads the ball really well and she plays smart. She can set the ball anywhere on the court, which not many setters can do.”

Haner had Knight with 14 kills, five ace serves, nine digs and a block in the Liberty match. Klesser had six aces, five kills and a solo block, along with 26 assists.

Bartholomew powered the ball to the floor for 10 kills.

Sides also excelled, with 19 digs and 92 percent passing.

Knight also headed the effort in last week’s win over the Mustangs, putting the ball to the floor for 15 kills and hammering out no fewer than six ace serves.

Bartholomew sparked the offense with 12 kills; Klesser had 23 assists.

Sides came through on defense, hustling for 12 successful digs.

The Kingsmen will have their work cut out for them again this Thursday, when they entertain 14th-ranked St. Helens (12-4, 8-2), which entered play this week tied with Liberty in second place in the NWOC standings. Sherwood (12-2, 10-0), ranked sixth in the state, was atop the conference standings.

“The girls are communicating better [than they were earlier in the season],” said Haner. “And they are really being supportive of one another. They’re playing with confidence. They’re not afraid to make mistakes.

“They’re playing the best I’ve had a team play in two years. They’ve worked hard and it’s starting to pay off.”

Cavaliers close in

on the TRL title

The Clackamas Cavaliers continued to close in on the Three Rivers League volleyball title last week, upending Oregon City in their only league match of the week, 25-9, 25-17, 25-17.

With the win the Cavaliers (17-4, 7-0) continued unbeaten in the TRL, a game up on Lake Oswego (17-2, 6-1). Ranked third and sixth in the state respectively, the two teams were to meet for the second time this season on Tuesday (Oct. 16). Clackamas escaped with a narrow win (14-25, 22-25, 25-13, 25-18, 16-14) in a Sept. 25 match at Lake Oswego.

The Cavaliers conclude their league season playing Canby (5-10, 1-6) on the road this Thursday and playing an away game with West Linn (4-13, 2-5) next Tuesday.

Clackamas will likely host a first-round game of the Class 6A state playoffs on Halloween night.

Lake Oswego finishes up with an away match with Lakeridge (13-4, 4-3) this Thursday and a home match with Oregon City (5-11, 1-6) next Tuesday.

Clackamas coach Jim Stultz was pleased with his charges’ play in last week’s match with the Pioneers.

“Overall, it was a great team effort,” he said. “I liked out energy tonight.”

Junior outside hitter Taylor Agost headed the offensive assault with 17 kills (out of 31 attacks). Senior defensive specialist Kiana Miller had 12 digs and senior setter Hannah Stultz came through with 24 assists.

Falcon volleyers

improve to 5-2

In Class 4A volleyball, La Salle Prep volleyers got it done last week, winning three-game matches from North Marion (25-14, 25-9, 25-13) and from Molalla (25-10, 25-16, 25-16).

Heading up the effort against Molalla were Taylor Shannon with eight kills, Gaby Timmen with eight digs and Emily Culley with 10 assists.

Danielle Spirlin (8 kills), Rachel Berger (8 kills), Timmen (4 ace serves), Culley (6 digs and 12 assists) and Lauren Danna (12 assists) led the way against the Huskies.

La Salle coach Liz Banta said: “We know we have a lot of work ahead of us as we head into the last stretch of league. We are taking it one game at a time, and working on improving the little things, such as unforced errors, aggressive serving, and decision making.”

The Falcons (5-2) entered play this week third — behind Estacada (6-1) and Madras (6-1) — in the Tri-Valley Conference standings.

They play Madras on the road this Thursday and they play host to Estacada next Monday. In the first round of league play, they lost to both teams in four games.

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