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No. 1 Lakeridge wins its tournament and tops West Linn and Oregon City

by: MATT SHERMAN - The Lakeridge volleyball team celebrates after the final point in its three-set victory over West Linn last Thursday.Lakeridge's volleyball team stayed unbeaten to open league play, sweeping past league opponents West Linn and Oregon City and winning its own tournament.

With those performances, the Pacers find themselves in uncharted territory, now ranked No. 1 in the state by the OSAA.

But if Lakeridge has been affected by its terrific run to start the season, it hasn't shown on the court. Last week, the Pacers took on a dangerous West Linn team that was coming off an impressive five-set victory over Lake Oswego.

Playing on the road, Lakeridge took care of business, seizing control early and fending off a late run by the Lions to win 25-14, 25-19, 25-22.

The Pacers had everything going their way early, using a strong block and great defense to keep points alive in the first set, jumping out to a quick lead and never looking back.

West Linn was more competitive in the second and third sets. The Lions jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the second but the Pacers quickly battled back.

Saskia McNairy made a big impact hitting in the middle and helped the Pacers go on a run to take at 15-11 lead.

The Lions cut the deficit to two points on a pair of occasions, getting as close as 20-18, but Lakeridge won five of the final six points of the set, getting two kills from McNairy and one from Maddie Marshall to clinch it.

West Linn led early in the third set as well but the Pacers soon knotted the score. The third set went back and forth, leading to ties at 18, 19 and 20.

West Linn tallied a kill to go up 22-21 and the Pacers were in danger of giving up momentum on the Lions' home court.

However, another big kill from McNairy and errors from the Lions allowed the Pacers to win the final four points to earn the victory.

Over the weekend, Lakeridge dominated at its own tournament, besting Reynolds in straight sets and then Union in the finals.

On Tuesday, the Pacers continued their winning streak with a dominating sweep of Oregon City.

Lakeridge is now alone in first place in the Three Rivers League with the first Civil War match looming tonight (Thursday) at home.

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