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Lakers top Pacers in five-set nailbiter

LO moves into second in the TRL with a narrow win over Lakeridge

Photo Credit: VERN UYETAKE - Lake Oswego's Natalia Perry elevates for a spike during last week's match against Lakeridge. She had the game-winning kill in the fifth set for the Lakers.The first Civil War volleyball match of the year turned out to be one for the ages as the Lakers, after comfortably sweeping Tigard earlier in the afternoon, fended off a valiant effort from an improving Pacer squad, winning 13-25, 25-15, 25-21, 20-25, 18-16.

The match was exceedingly close and slightly controversial as the final set featured a pair of overturned points against the Lakers and a kill by the Pacers on match-point which was ruled out that Lakeridge thought caught the line.

Lakeridge had very little down time to gear up for its match with Lake Oswego. The Pacers had just finished a grueling five-set match to Tigard which the Tigers eked out and only had a short rest to gear up for their cross-town rivals.

But Lakeridge was sharp early on and, after Lake Oswego tied the opening set at 8-8, the Pacers rattle off 11 consecutive points to seize control. Kacie Van Stiphout had a pair of kills in the run and the Lakers committed a handful of hitting errors as the Pacers cruised.

However, Lake Oswego righted the ship quickly, grabbing an early lead in the second set. CC Brown had a pair of kills while Heather Pippus added two kills and a block in quick succession to give her team a 17-6 lead.

A well-placed tip by Peyten Boutwell tied up the match at one set apiece.

In the third set, Lake Oswego continued its run. Pippus came alive for the Lakers, recording four kills and an ace early on as Lake Oswego built a 15-8 lead.

The Lakers were firmly in control after a service winner by Sydney Padgett made it 24-16. However, Lakeridge didn't quit and rattled off five straight points, getting three consecutive kills from fershman Deborah Brigman before a Pippus kill sealed the set for the Lakers 25-21.

That late run seemed to give the Pacers some renewed confidence as, with the backs against the wall, they battled back and forth with the Lakers in the fourth set.

After a kill by Lakeridge's Mallea Anderson, the Pacers scored four straight points behind strong serving from Van Stiphout and forced a fifth set.

Lake Oswego grabbed the early advantage in the fifth as they continued to feed Pippus at the net. Trailing 10-5, Lakeridge won seven of the next eight points to regain the lead.

Lake Oswego appeared to go back up 14-13 but the referees overturned a call and gave the Pacers match-point.

The teams then traded errors but, with a 15-14 lead, Lakeridge came up with what appeared to be the game-winning kill. However, it was ruled out of bounds.

The Pacers had one more match-point after a tough kill by Anderson but Lake Oswego was able to fend it off with a stuff at the net by Audrey Treske.

Then, after going ahead 17-16, Lake Oswego's Natalia Perry drilled the decisive kill to give her team the win.

Lake Oswego currently sits at 3-1 in lead and is alone in second place behind West Linn. Lakeridge, meanwhile, picked up its first league victory on Tuesday, downing Tualatin 25-21, 23-25, 25-18, 25-23.

The Pacers will play at West Linn tonight (Thursday) and host their own tournament this weekend.

Lake Oswego will travel to Tualatin tonight (Thursday).

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