Lakeridge goes down to eventual champion Central Catholic at the West Linn tournament Saturday

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAVID BALL - Lakeridge senior Saskia McNairy celebrates with teammates after claiming a point during a straight-set pool-play win over Barlow. WEST LINN — Lakeridge won its pool Saturday at the 24-team West Linn volleyball tournament, but a guffaw by the seeding committee put a brick wall in the Pacers’ path to a potential title.

Lakeridge was in a tight race with 3A power Santiam Christian, as the afternoon’s round-robin action came to a conclusion. Both teams finished with 5-1 records in pool-play sets and split their head-to-head matchup. That meant the top spot in the pool would go to the team with the best points differential. The Pacers held a three-point edge in that category, but officials incorrectly awarded the top spot to Santiam.

Lakeridge was still playing its final pool-play match, a 25-14, 25-21 win over Barlow, when seeding officials wrote a ‘1’ next to Santiam Christian on the standings board. The mistake was never corrected, leaving Lakeridge with the most difficult matchup of the quarterfinals. The Pacers bowed out with a 25-12, 25-15 loss to No. 1 Central Catholic.

Lakeridge needed a quick win over Barlow to rightfully win its pool, and the Pacers got just that by dominating action at the net. The Pacers bolted to a 10-4 lead on a kill down the sideline by McKenna Moore, prompting Barlow to spend an early timeout.

Lakeridge would not be stymied.

Saskia McNairy, Malia Scott and Maddie Marshall took command up front, putting up blocks that turned back numerous Barlow attacks and allowed the gap to stretch to double digits.

The second set was hotly contested with the teams trading the lead five times. McNairy and McKenna Moore came up with kills on back-to-back points, and the Pacers found themselves with a 12-9 lead after the first rotation.

Barlow came back to tie the score three times before eventually pulling ahead 19-17 on an ace down the middle by B6.

Lakeridge responded with Marshall blasting a kill off the arms of a Barlow back-row player and into the bleachers for a 20-19 lead that the Pacers wouldn’t surrender. Kacie Van Stiphout connected on a kill from beyond the 10-foot line, and Moore served up an ace to bring about match point.

The Pacers also scored a sweep over McNary in the morning action.

Central Catholic claimed the tournament title with a 25-21, 24-26, 15-12 win over Jesuit in the finals after coming back to down Crook County in three sets in the semis.

View a photo gallery from the tournament at …

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