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Lakeridge wins its own tourney and scores league wins over West Linn and Oregon City

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Lakeridge's Malia Scott looked to hit a ball over West Linn's block during the Pacers' four-set victory last week. Lakeridge would go on to knock off Oregon City in three sets on Tuesday. The Lakeridge volleyball team has found itself on a roll early in the season, rallying after a league-opening three-set loss to Clackamas to knock off West Linn before capturing its own tournament over the weekend.

The Pacers played well in the Lakeside Tournament, rallying in multiple matches to grind out tough victories.

“I'm really proud of how much mental toughness we've been showing,” coach Wendy Stammer said.

In pool play, Lakeridge swept Grant in straight sets and then ousted Reynolds, winning the third set 26-24.

The Pacers then had a bye before playing in the semifinals and had to overcome that lag time when they took on Reynolds again.

The Raiders jumped out to an early lead and held on for a 25-23 victory in the first set but Lakeridge buckled down behind strong defense and won the second set 25-12.

The final set went back and forth with Reynolds ultimately taking a 13-11 lead. But, again, the Pacers rallied, reeling off four unanswered points to advance to the finals.

“We've been focusing on great passing and tough serving. All of my servers can put it anywhere on the court and they're capable of going back there and getting a few points in a row,” Stammer said.

In the finals, Lakeridge took on Union High School from Washington. After falling behind 4-0 in the opening set, the Pacers took control and would win the match in straight sets.

“I felt like we got a lot better over the weekend,” Stammer said.

The victory came on the heels of a big league win against West Linn. The Pacers were slow out of the gate on their home court, dropping the opening set but they rallied impressively, taking command of the second set early.

Saskia McNairy was strong at the net all game, nimbly avoiding the West Linn block with well-placed kills and touches.

Lakeridge took control of the set on McKenna Moore's strong serving and the Pacers fended off a late run by the Lions to win 25-21.

West Linn took an early lead in the second set but, again, it was Lakeridge's defense that turned the tide. Freshman libero Emily Scott had a nice match and dug some difficult spikes to keep points alive.

The Pacers went on a big run behind Kacie Van Stiphout's serving and never looked back in the match, moving to 1-1 in league.

Lakeridge also finds itself as one of three teams in the league currently ranked in the top-10 by the OSAA.

“Our league is so tough and there are so many quality coaches. We've been telling the girls that you're ranked No. 9 in the state and that's how they need to carry themselves when they walk on the court,” Stammer said.

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