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Tigers nab long awaited win


Tigard sweeps Grant in a Class 6A postseason match-up

by: DAN BROOD - HAPPY WINNERS -- The Tigard High School volleyball team celebrates following its state playoff win over Grant.TIGARD — It was a long time coming.

But, with the way the Tigers celebrated, it must have been worth the wait.

The Tigard High School volleyball team picked up its first state postseason victory since 1992 — and the Tigers accomplished that feat in dominating fashion as they roared past Grant for a 25-12, 25-11, 25-4 victory in a Class 6A state playoff first-round match played Oct. 31 at Tigard High School.

“Woo hoo,” Tigard senior outside hitter Valerie Hughes said with a smile after the match. “This is so awesome. We’re all pretty excited. We rocked it.”

by: DAN BROOD - ARMS UP -- Tigard senior Luaren Becker sets the ball during the Tigers' playoff victory.“This is the first time in a long time,” Tigard junior outside hitter Lindsey Rosette said. “This is kind of a big deal.”

“It’s really special,” Tigard senior setter Lauren Becker said. “We were looking forward to the season not being over.”

With the loss, Grant, the No. 3 team out of the Southwest Conference, finished its season with a final overall record of 10-10.

Tigard, the Pacific Conference runner-up, improved to 19-5 on the season to that point and advanced to play at Roseburg in a second round state playoff match.

“We get to keep playing,” Tigard coach Rob Coelho said after the win over Grant. “This is special. I’m excited for the seniors. We’re looking forward to coming to practice tomorrow.”

In getting the big win, the Tigers first had to overcome a few playoff-opening jitters.

They held just an 8-6 lead in the opening set of the match before taking of. But, when they did take off, the Tigers did so without looking back.

With Rosette serving, Tigard rolled off nine straight points to open up an 18-6 lead in the opening set. Freshman Cassie Erickson had a pair of blocks for the Tigers in the scoring spree.

From there, Hughes and junior Michelle Simmons both scored on tips coming off sets by Becker to help Tigard wrap up the 25-12 opening-set win.

Tigard carried its momentum into the second set of the match. With Becker serving, and with Hughes having a kill, the Tigers jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead, and they didn’t trail the rest of the set.

Holding a 10-4 lead, and with senior libero Cassidy Freeman serving, Tigard scored five straight points to push the margin to 15-4.

Rosette had a pair of kills off sets by Becker and Hughes scored on a tip in that scoring streak.

Tigard would go up 17-7 on an ace serve by Rosette, starting a string of four straight Tigard points.

Hughes had three straight kills to finish off 25-11 second-set victory.

The Tigers got off to another blazing start in the third set of the match.

With Erickson serving strong, and with Hughes and senior Meeka Mayhew having kills, Tigard took a fast 5-0 lead.

Simmons added a pair of kills as Tigard stretched the margin to 9-1.by: DAN BROOD - ALL SMILES -- Tigard seniors Cassidy Freeman (left) and Meeka Mayhew seem overjoyed following last week's playoff win.

Tigard, wanting to put away the victory, kept soaring from there.

The Tigers went up 15-2 on behind a kill and a tip by Rosette.

With junior Zosia Roberts serving, Tigard had a seven-point scoring streak — featuring two kills by Erickson and three by Rosette — to up the lead to 23-3.

A Tigard hitting error ended the streak and made the score 23-4. But a kill by Rosette and a Grant hitting error led to a 25-4 third-set win and ignited the Tigard celebration.

“I almost started crying,” Mayhew said. “I lost it. This was so much fun. We wanted it so bad.”

“It’s all king of surreal,” Rosette said. “It’s crazy, but a good crazy.”

Tigard saw its season come to an end on Saturday when it fell 25-12, 25-15, 25-15 to Roseburg in a Class 6A state playoff second-round match played at Roseburg High School.

With the win, Roseburg advances to play in the Class 6A state tournament, which starts Friday at Liberty High School.

The loss at Roseburg marked the final high school match for Tigard seniors Hughes, Becker, Mayhew and Freeman.