Both teams earn first-round byes heading into the playoffs

by: VERN UYETAKE - Lakeridge setter McKenna Moore gets ready to make a pass during last week's match against Lake Oswego. In an emotional environment on Lakeridge's senior night, the Lake Oswego volleyball team rebounded from a difficult loss to Clackamas in impressive fashion, topping the Pacers in three sets to secure second place in the TRL.

Lakeridge honored Kayla Troike and Colleen Brooks in front of a big crowd on Thursday but Lake Oswego quickly got down to business once the match started.

The Lakers were terrific defensively for the majority of the match and were particularly strong at the net, getting blocking from Erika Treske and strong outside hitting from Heather Pippus.

Lakeridge was slow out of the blocks and Lake Oswego quickly took advantage of some early Lakeridge miscues, winning the first set 25-12.

The Lakers continued to roll early in the second set with setter Abby Gray finding multiple hitters who each found success putting shots away.

Lakeridge got some strong defense from its freshman libero Emily Scott to keep points alive but Lake Oswego was steadily able to take control of the second set, winning it 25-17.

Lakeridge mounted a rally in the third set and cut back on its unforced errors significantly. Lakeridge was able to get the ball to its middles in Madison Marshall and Saskia McNairy who each put balls away.

However, Lake Oswego refused to let Lakeridge grab momentum in the match and played well down the stretch, putting the match away 25-21.

Both teams then played in the West Linn Invitational over the weekend. Lake Oswego knocked off Barlow in three sets for a big victory while Lakeridge highlight came when it took the opening set off of powerhouse Central Catholic.

In their final league matches of the year, Lake Oswego knocked off Oregon City in three sets while Lakeridge swept Canby.

Lakeridge and Lake Oswego are both battle tested and ranked in the top 10. Both teams avoided a play-in match by finishing in the top-three and they will start their bid for a trip to the state tournament next week.

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