Both teams are ranked in the top-10 with second place in the TRL on the line

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Lake Oswego's Erika Treske, left, and Heather Pippus go up for a block in Tuesday's match against Clackamas. The Cavaliers won in straight sets to clinch at least a share of the league title.
The Lakeridge volleyball team has been a model of consistency this year. The Pacers are currently ranked No. 9 in the state and have steadily taken care of business against solid opponents both in the Three Rivers League and during tournaments.

But Lakeridge’s work is far from over. The Pacers hope to build some momentum for a possible run to the state tournament by finishing the regular season on a high note.

And there couldn’t be a much better way to kickstart the team than to beat its crosstown rivals from Lake Oswego. Lakeridge takes on Lake Oswego tonight (Thursday) at home and looks to avenge an earlier three-set loss.

The Pacers are coming off a pair of solid league wins, downing both West Linn and Oregon City convincingly in three sets.

The West Linn match was moved to last Wednesday and was played at a local middle school due to a fire in West Linn’s gym. The ceiling at the middle school wasn’t regulation but the Pacers dealt with the challenge and won convincingly to lock up a top-three finish in the TRL.

“It wasn’t an ideal situation but we played some really good ball and took care of business,” coach Wendy Stammer said.

Lakeridge then steamrolled Oregon City on Tuesday, winning quickly 25-12, 25-19, 25-18. The win kept the Pacers just one game behind Lake Oswego in the league standings, meaning that a victory tonight against the Lakers would set up a tie for second place between the two teams.

In the standings, the outcome means very little as both teams have clinched avoiding a play-in game but the match means plenty to both teams’ psyches.

The Lakers and Pacers are also jockeying for position in the OSAA rankings with the Pacers looking to crack the top-eight to lock down home court advantage until the state tournament.

“We had the talent last year as well but this team really believes in themselves,” Stammer said.

Lakeridge will play in the West Linn Invitational this weekend and takes on Canby next week in its league finale.

The Lake Oswego volleyball ran into one of the top teams in the state playing some of its best volleyball on Tuesday. Clackamas all but wrapped up the league title at home on its senior night, taking down the Lakers in three sets 25-14, 25-12, 25-20.

The Lakers had hoped to avenge their toughest loss of the season to date, an exciting five-set showdown earlier in the year, but the Cavaliers were simply too tough.

Clackamas took advantage of some uncharacteristic miscues by the Lakers and never gave up control of the match to stay unbeaten in league this year.

“It came down to execution and we couldn’t get into our basic serve and pass,” coach Christy Burnett said.

The Lakers will look to rebound quickly as they take on Lakeridge tonight (Thursday) on the road.

“We have to prepare for a battle and it’s always a hostile environment. This team has always reacted well after a tough loss this year so we’re looking forward to the challenge,” Burnett said.

Lake Oswego will close out the regular season against Oregon City next week and will play in the competitive West Linn Invitational over the weekend, taking on St. Mary’s, McMinnville and Silverton in their pool.

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