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Lakers pound West Linn in first TRL match


LO sweeps West Linn and makes a statement in its first league match of the season

The Lake Oswego volleyball team took one set to warm up before walking away with a convincing straight-sets victory over traditional power West Linn in its league opener on Tuesday.

The Lakers and Lions tied for the league title last year but Lake Oswego made a statement that it will be one of the teams to beat again this year in a dominant 25-23, 25-14, 25-18 performance.

The opening set went back and forth with a handful of Lake Oswego errors keeping the Lions close.

West Linn took a slim lead midway through the set but the Lakers kept within striking distance.

Late in the set, Heather Pippus had a key tip at the net and a big serve to help the team rally after falling behind 23-21.

The Lions also hurt themselves with a crucial illegal substitution which cost them a point.

Tied at 23-23, setter Abby Gray came up with a spectacular dig to keep the point alive which eventually went to the Lakers. She would then come up with another big dig which led to a kill from Taylor Beckman to give Lake Oswego the opening set in dramatic fashion.

With momentum firmly in their favor, the Lakers cruised in the next two sets, never giving the Lions, a team with a propensity to make big comebacks, much of a chance.

West Linn went up 3-0 early in the second set but Lake Oswego quickly responded with six unanswered points, getting a big boost from Gray's strong serving.

Amy Sohlberg and Erika Treske came up big at the net for the Lakers and some miscommunication from West Linn allowed the Lakers to jump out to a 15-7 lead. Lake Oswego was on cruise control and another big run on Gray's serve gave the home team a two-set advantage.

The Lakers never trailed in the third set. Sohlberg had a key stretch early on with her hitting and then a pair of aces on her serve to give her team an early 10-4 lead.

Beckman continued to pound away at the net as Lake Oswego put the key early contest away.

Lake Oswego will travel to Canby today (Thursday.)

Lakeridge got off to a tough start in its league opener, taking on a Clackamas team that could be one of the favorites for the state title this year.

The Cavaliers flexed their muscles at home in a 25-18, 25,9, 25-15 victory. Lakeridge takes on West Linn today (Thursday) and will host the Lakeside tournament this weekend.