Rivals Tigard and Tualatin battle back and forth all match

by: DAN BROOD - THAT'S ONE -- The Tigard High School volleyball team celebrates after rallying for a game one victory in Tuesday's match.TUALATIN — Both teams definitely showed a never-say-die attitude.

Both teams certainly seemed to play with a lot of spirit.

But it was the Tigard High School volleyball team that ended up putting things all together.

The Tigers, in a back-and-forth, unpredictable battle, came away with a 26-24, 28-26, 24-26, 25-13 win over rival Tualatin in a Pacific Conference match played Tuesday at Tualatin High School.

“This is really big for us,” Tigard senior setter Lauren Becker said after the match. “It was my last time to play against Tualatin, so this feels really good.”

With the setback, Tualatin moved to 7-4 in Pacific Conference play, putting the Timberwolves in a tie with McMinnville for third place in the league standings. Tigard improved to 9-2 in league matches with the win, keeping the Tigers in second place behind Century, which is 11-0 in league play.

And Tigard’s win at Tualatin certainly was anything but usual.

In the first two games of the match, the Timberwolves took charge early, opening good-sized leads, only to see Tigard rally to get the win.

by: DAN BROOD - KNOCK IT DOWN -- Tualatin senior Maddie Powelson (22) watches the ball after blocking a Tigard hit in Tuesday's league match. The roles were reversed in the third game. Tigard took control early, with Tualatin coming back strong to score the victory.

“It was crazy,” Becker said. “But we pulled it through.”

“It was a good fight,” Tualatin senior outside hitter Maddie Powelson said. “We got up, and we had so much momentum. If we could have kept it going, I think we could have had it.”

The teams were tied at 13-13 in the first game of the match before Tualatin started to take charge. Timberwolf freshman Sara Fanger served three straight points, including an ace, to give the home team a 16-13 lead.

A kill by Powelson, off a set by sophomore Bridget Nolan, upped the Tualatin lead to 20-16. Another Powelson kill gave the Wolves a 22-18 advantage. Tualatin was just one point away from winning the opening game after it went up 24-20 on a Tigard hitting error.

But that’s when the Tigers came storming back. A Tualatin error and a kill by Tigard senior Valerie Hughes trimmed the margin to 24-22. The Tigers then tied the game at 24-24 following a pair of Tualatin violations.

Tigard then wrapped up the 26-24 first-game win on back-to-back kills by Hughes off of sets by Becker.

Persistent Tualatin, looking to make amends, got off to a flying start in the second game. Kills by freshman Haley Howarth, junior Jasmine Miller and Powelson propelled the Wolves to a quick 4-1 lead.

An ace by Powelson and a pair of kills by senior Kristen Yarbrough helped push the Tualatin advantage to 13-6.

But the Tigers answered back again. Tigard junior middle blocker Michelle Simmons had back-to-back block as well as a kill and junior outside hitter Lindsey Rosette had a kill off a set by Becker to trim the lead to 15-13. Tigard would go on to tie the game at 16-16 on a tip by Simmons. Soon after, the Tigers would take their first lead of the game, at 18-17, on a kill by Rosette.

The game went back and forth from there, with Tualatin taking a 24-23 lead on a kill by Powelson. But the Wolves weren’t able to convert game point, as Tigard tied things up again with a kill by Rosette.

With the score tied at 26-26, the Tigers got a kill by Rosette followed by a Tualatin hitting error to put away the 28-26 second-game victory.

The Tigers then looked to be on their way to a sweep, as they sprinted out to leads of 6-2 and 13-6 to start the third game.

Now, it was Tualatin’s turn to rally. The Wolves came back to take an 18-17 following back-to-back ace serves by senior Megan Lundgreen.

Tigard, with senior Maegan Redfern serving, answered back to take a 22-18 lead. The Tigers went on to take a 24-21 lead, putting the team one point away from wrapping up the match.

But the Wolves wouldn’t let that happen.

A Tigard violation and hitting error made the score 24-23. Powelson took over from there. She had a block, a kill and another block to help Tualatin get a 26-24 third-game win.

In the fourth game, the Tigers made sure there wouldn’t be any rallies.

Becker had back-to-back serves to start the game, and Tigard didn’t trail the rest of the way.

Kills by Rosette and Hughes helped the Tigers push their lead to 14-9.

Tigard kept rolling from there. A block by Simmons and a kill by senior Meeka Mayhew upped the margin to 17-10. Soon after, with junior Kelcy Mullaly serving, the Tigers scored four straight points to take a 22-11 lead.

From there, Tigard went on to close out the 25-13 fourth-game win to clinch the match.

“We really wanted it,” Becker said. “And Tualatin fought hard. We just picked up our passing and hitting. This was special to the seniors. We always love to beat Tualatin. This was a lot of fun.”

“I think this was the best we’ve played against Tigard,” Powelson said. “It was a good game.”

Both teams will be back in action on Tuesday. Tigard will play at Hillsboro and Tualatin hosts McMinnville in league matches starting at 6:45 p.m.

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