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Lady Lions close in on second in NWOC

Team has two big volleyball match-ups this week


by: JOHN BREWINGTON - Madison Kaplan digs out a ball during last week's volleyball match with Wilsonville. St. Helens was in second place going into this week with two big matches ahead.The St. Helens Lady Lions kept their volleyball ship on a good course last week with wins over Wilsonville and Rex Putnam.

With two losses by Liberty, St. Helens is two games ahead of the Falcons in second place in the Northwest Oregon Conference. St. Helens was to have hosted Liberty on Tuesday night, and Thursday travels to league-leading and sixth-ranked Sherwood.

UPDATE:

St. Helens beat Liberty in four games on Tuesday night guarantee them second place in the NWOC.

St. Helens took both those teams to five games in their last meeting. They lost to Liberty in extra points in the fifth game.

The Lady Lions are not ranked high enough to skip the play-in rounds of state, even if they beat both Liberty and Sherwood. However, one win could clinch them second place, and they should host a play-in game.

It took four games, but St. Helens dispatched Wilsonville last week, 25-15, 21-25, 25-11, 25-13. Kali Moore was 20 of 23 serving with five aces. Brooke Cathers had 10 kills.

They followed that with a five-game win at Rex Putnam, 20-25, 21-25, 25-21, 25-17, 15-7. They were down 2-0 before coming back to win the last three games.

Cathers had 13 kills and Jillian Ross was 22 of 22 serving with three aces. “Jillian provided excellent team leadership,” Coach Tom Ray said. “Hailee Fischer and Jessica Kinsman (swingers from the jayvee team) stepped up in game three when we were struggling. Megan Thompson was 83 percent passing.”

“We are playing very good volleyball,” Ray added. “We are finding out that the faster we transition the better we play. I was extremely proud of how the team came together (at Putnam).”

Ray noted that his jayvee team is 26-3 on the season and 11-1 in league. The Jayvee II team is 25-3 overall and 11-1 in league.

The play-in round will be played on or before Oct. 30. Pairings will be made after this Saturday.