Rams volleyball team closes in on another perfect run through league
Central Catholic puts down an early threat to beat Gresham in four sets Tuesday
GRESHAM Central Catholic volleyball coach Rick Lorenz knows a trip to Gresham never means an easy night.
Its a tough place to play, and you always get a battle, he said. I cant remember the last time we came here and it didnt go four or five games.
That was no different Tuesday night, but the Rams prevailed once more putting on a late spurt to down the Gophers 25-22, 21-25, 25-16, 25-18. The win marks 104 straight in league for the Rams, who havent lost in the MHC since the high schools went to a six-division format seven years ago.
It appeared that run might end early Tuesday when a fired up Gophers squad held leads late in each of the first two sets.
Gresham held serve with a 21-19 lead near the game of Game 1 only to see Central rush back to win six of the last seven points. Raina Hembry came up with a block in the middle that sent the Gophers scrambling out of bounds for a return on game-point.
The Gophers never trailed in the second set, building as big as a six-point lead largely behind the heavy hitting of junior Alex Frazier, who missed the first meeting between the teams three weeks ago.
We knew with Alex back in their lineup, wed be in for a tougher match than the first time, Lorenz said. This was a good test for us, and I think we passed it well. We bent a little bit, but we didnt break.
After splitting the first two, the Rams never trailed again.
Central started the pivotal third set with a five-point flurry and finished it on Monica Gajdas drop shot that fell in Greshams front row.
The Gophers had five chances to take the lead during the middle stages of the fourth set, but Central held them at bay each time.
Natalie Batiste pounded out a pair of kills to end two chances, while a series of hitting errors also hurt Gresham.
The Rams eventually pulled away with a four-point service spurt by Gajda, moving out to an 18-13 lead when Ramey Gardner hit a winner into the back corner.
Thats the best test weve had in league this year, Lorenz said. But if were passing well and playing strong in our service game, we can usually win.
Kailee Johnson led the Rams with 14 kills, while Hembry and Gajda added 13 apiece.
Central ends the regular season at home Tuesday against Reynolds.
View a photo gallery of the match at ...