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Volleyball: Cougars battle to finals

Country Christian fought through tough games to reach the quarterfinals.


Country Christian beat North Clackamas Christian 3-0 on Wednesday, Oct. 30, in the first round of 1A volleyball playoffs. The Cougars were coming off a 3-1 win against Perrydale and a 3-2 loss against St. Paul on Saturday, Oct. 26. Country Christian took their first playoff game with set scores of 25-20, 25-18 and 25-9 and advanced to the second round.

“The girls came out determined to make school history by getting their first state playoff win,” Coach Janin McGrath said. “Both teams started out very slow from the service line. We had a couple girls with some playoff jitters through game one.”

Miranda Halverson led the team with nine kills, followed by Brittnea Corless with seven kills. Kennedy Nofziger and Courtney McGrath finished with 12 and 11 assists, respectively. Ashley LaPointe led from the service line on 21 of 25 serving.

In round two, on Saturday, Nov. 2, the Cougars faced off against Crane, from the High Desert League. The Cougars took a narrow 3-2 win. Country Christian fought to a close 25-23 win in the first set, but Crane pressed them in the second and took the set 27-25.

“The girls started game one very solid,” McGrath said. “It was a one- to two-point game most of the way until we put together a little run to go up 24-19. Crane got the side out and pushed the score to 24-23 before we were able to close out the first game … Game two we found ourselves coming from behind. Our passing was a little off, and we had quite a few hitting errors. We battled back from a 11-16 deficit to take the lead at 24-23. From there we battled back and forth, but Crane was able to finish out game two with a win.”

The Cougars came back to take set three 25-19, and Crane persisted with another win in set four, 25-19.

“Game three started out very similar to game one,” McGrath said. “We battled back and forth through the first rotation of servers, and then we started to pull away. We helped ourselves in game three by serving 100 percent and only having a couple hitting errors. Anicca Monaghan and Ashley LaPointe refused to let anything drop in the back row in this game, and Miranda Halverson recorded seven kills in this game. Game four we played well and had some long rallies where the points just were not landing in our favor.”

The match came down to the fifth-set tiebreaker. The Cougars took it 15-9.

“It's difficult to put Saturday night’s win against Crane into words,” McGrath said. “Redmond has been the goal of this team from the first day of practice, and that goal has now become reality.”

Country Christian advances to the quarterfinals, where they are slated to play Lowell at 1:15 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8, at Ridgeview High School in Redmond, Ore.



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