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Volleyball team hosts a qualifier match


Rangers win five of their last six matches to finish second in the Tri-Valley League

Throughout the volleyball regular season, the Estacada Rangers took care of business and disposed of lesser competition. On October 15, Molalla was on the wrong end of that equation for the second time this season, this time by way of a 3-0 sweep (25-19, 25-17, 25-19).

Molalla got off to a decent start and took a 4-1 advantage to open the first set, but that lead was short-lived. Estacada erased the deficit with an 8-0 run to snag the lead, and the Rangers never relinquished it.

The Indians worked to catch up to Estacada and got as close as 20-18, but Estacada coach Shawna Lippert called a timeout to allow her team to regroup. Out of the timeout, the Rangers scored five of the next six points to finish off the set.

Estacada laid claim to a two-sets-to-none edge with a dominating performance in Game 2. The Rangers didn’t spot Molalla an early edge like they did in the opening game, but jumped out to a 4-0 start and led the whole way.

If the Indians were going to steal a set, their opportunity came in the third. Estacada wasn’t quite as polished as it was in the first two games and made a few more service and hitting errors. Molalla took advantage to some degree and went up by a score of 13-11 in the middle of the set. The Rangers evened the score at 17-17, but couldn’t separate themselves from Molalla.

That is when Tori Johnson gave Estacada the spark it needed. A Molalla spike clipped the top of the net and was headed into no-man’s land between the Rangers’ front and back rows. Johnson dove from the back and managed to save the ball, after which Estacada earned the point. Johnson’s save led to a 6-0 run that allowed the Rangers to pull away and close out the match.

Estacada followed up its victory over Molalla with a 3-0 sweep (25-23, 27-25, 25-19) at Gladstone on Thursday. The Rangers closed out the regular season on Monday by securing their most impressive Tri-Valley Conference win, a 3-1 decision (25-19, 19-25, 27-25, 25-16) over La Salle Prep.

Estacada locked up a share of second place in the league with La Salle by prevailing on Monday. The Rangers hold the tiebreaker because they are four spots higher in the 4A RPI rankings, giving them a home match in the play-in qualifiers.