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Raiders earn sweep, stay alive in playoff hunt

Reynolds holds David Douglas to eight first-set points on its way to a 3-0 conference win

The classic coach-speak cliché of “we are taking it one game at a time” was more than just a recycled line for the Reynolds volleyball team this week. The Raiders did not want to think too much about their final three Mt. Hood Conference games against the league’s three best teams – Clackamas, Barlow and Central Catholic – with one match preceding that trio. Still, with an understanding of what was ahead, it might have been difficult for Reynolds to focus solely Tuesday’s match against David Douglas.

The Raiders managed just fine.

Reynolds left no question that the Scots had its attention. The Raiders blew out David Douglas in the opening set and stormed to a 3-0 sweep (25-8, 25-22, 25-16), keeping pace with Gresham for the conference’s fourth-place slot.

“It was important for us to start strong. We have kind of been struggling to stay steady, so getting that start helped us,” Reynolds outside hitter Hanna Yamashita said.

Reynolds dominated every facet of the first set. The Raiders served up aces, hit accurately and chalked up several blocks. Less than five minutes after the match began, Reynolds had a 12-2 lead. David Douglas called a timeout to regroup, and in turn stopped the run with a couple points. Reynolds responded with another run of seven straight points, then closed out the set.

The Raiders slipped a bit in the second set, and the Scots picked up their intensity. David Douglas pulled just ahead late, 22-20, to threaten to even the match. Reynolds converged for a few seconds longer than normal in the center of the floor to talk strategy, then rolled off five straight set-ending points.

The Scots kept the third set close and trailed by two points at 16-14. Reynolds dashed the Scots’ hope for a comeback with an 8-1 run before officially finishing the match.

“I think we just broke down mentally a little bit in the second set,” Yamashita said. “I’m glad we were able figure it out to pull it out in the third set.”

Yamashita led the Raiders with 10 kills and three blocks. Katelyn Payne added six kills and two aces.

With the David Douglas match now over and done, the Raiders can turn their attention to the daunting tail-end of their schedule.

“This win definitely helps us,” Yamashita said. “We know we have some hard matches coming, so this gives us a lot of confidence and motivation.”


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