After a first-round victory, Lake Oswego is upended in straight sets

The Lake Oswego volleyball team's solid season came to an end one match shy of a berth in this year's state tournament.

After an opening-round four-set victory over Grant, the Lakers fell in straight sets to an inspired Sprague team, ranked No. 5 in the state.

The Lakers opened the postseason on a positive note, jumping on the Generals early and fending off a late rally in a 25-17, 25-15, 23-25, 25-22 victory.

Lake Oswego appeared that it might not even be tested early on in the match. Big kills from Taylor Beckman and strong all-around play from Amy Sohlberg helped the Lakers take a big lead in the opening set.

After winning six of the first seven point, the Lakers never let Grant significantly cut into the lead and claimed the early advantage on their home court.

Grant looked to stay in the match early in the second set, going back and forth with the Lakers. But Lake Oswego continued to hold the momentum in the contest and used a big run midway through the set to establish control again.

The Lakers easily put the second game out of reach and led 2-0.

But the Generals weren't finished yet. Lake Oswego may have let the foot off the gas slightly and Grant jumped out to a 16-9 lead that knocked the Lakers back on their heels.

Lake Oswego would rebound and claw back into the set but the Generals played well in the final few points of the third game and stayed alive.

Grant suddenly had newfound confidence and again built an early lead in the fourth game.

This time, Lake Oswego didn't wait to make its comeback and, by the middle of the set, it had knotted the score.

The Lakers fed the ball to Beckman when possible and she responded with another strong effort. Lake Oswego held a slim lead late in the set and did a nice job closing out the match with the pressure on.

On Saturday, the Lakers knew they would have their work cut out for them against a very strong Sprague squad.

The Lakers could never completely find their footing and, to the Olympians' credit, they gave Lake Oswego very few windows to make a run.

In the end, Sprague, playing on its home court in Salem, advanced to the state tournament with a 25-22, 25-13, 25-18 victory.

Lake Oswego will graduate four seniors this year in Julia Anderson, Cassi Jarrell, Beckman and Sohlberg but should return a strong and well-balanced squad next season.

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