St. Helens hosted Hermiston on Tuesday in play-in game, winning in four and advancing to the state tournament

by: JOHN BREWINGTON - St. Helens' Taylor Albertson hits a ball during last week's game with Liberty.The St. Helens Lions volleyball team clinched second place in the NWOC last week with a win over Liberty, and this week hosted Hermiston in a play-in game on Tuesday.

With the victory over Liberty, St. Helens moved up to 12th in the Oregon School Activities Association power rankings and that sent No. 20 Hermiston to St. Helens. Results of that game came after press time.

The Lady Lions posted a 26-24, 22-25, 25-17, 25-22 win over the now 10th ranked Falcons.

Brooke Cathers had eight kills and Madison Kaplan was 15 of 15 serving with three aces in the game.

“It was a great win for St. Helens volleyball,” Coach Tom Ray said. “The team came together with excellent team play. They also transitioned very well.”by: JOHN BREWINGTON - St. Helens' Jillian Ross tips a ball over the net during last week's match with Liberty.

The Lady Lions also had a game at No. 4-ranked, league champion Sherwood on Thursday. The two teams had gone five games in their first meeting.

It wasn’t that close this time, with St. Helens losing 13-25, 13-25, 16-25. Haley Mann was seven of seven serving. Kylie Reinholdt had five kills. The team was 75 percent passing and digging.{

“The big difference between the first and second match was that we did not fear them the first time we played,” Ray said. “Secondly, we celebrated more and had fun during the first match.”

If the Lady Lions win, and the other home teams win as well Tuesday, St. Helens would be at Marshfield this Saturday. That could change if there was an upset by one or more of the road teams over a team ranked lower than St. Helens.

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