Wolves turn the tables against Canby
TUALATIN — What a difference a few weeks can make.
That's especially true when you're playing with motivation, determination and strong play at the net.
The Tualatin High School volleyball team, which was swept in three sets by Canby on the road back on Sept. 14, scored a big measure of revenge, as it posted a 25-23, 25-21, 515-25, 25-23 victory in a Three Rivers League rematch played last Thursday at Tualatin High School.
"This is a pretty big win for us," Tualatin freshman middle blocker Kylie Zralka said after the match.
"We lost to them the first time," Tualatin junior middle blocker Tasha Loudd said. "We really wanted to beat them. We had more energy tonight. We were excited."
"We had more motivation," Zralka added.
With the loss, Canby fell to 8-3 in TRL matches (12-4 overall) at that point, putting the Cougars in third place in the league standings.
The Timberwolves improved to 7-5 in TRL play (11-7 overall), putting them in fifth place in the league standings.
"This was a good win. They are an excellent team," Tualatin coach Bridget Hinrichs said. "We came our ready to go. We took care of the little things, and stayed disciplined."
Tualatin got off to a strong start to last week's match. Leading 4-3 in the first set following a sideout kill by senior Emily Friesen off a set by sophomore Jackie Phillips, the Wolves, behind the serving of senior libero Sofia Ashley, scored four straight points to take an 8-3 advantage.
Tualatin would go on to open up a 14-7 lead in the opening set, but the Cougars came storming back. Canby would tie the set, at 15-15 on an ace serve by sophomore Kennedy Ogden. The Cougars would then take a 20-19 lead on an ace by freshman Daley McClellan.
The Canby lead was a 23-22 following a kill by sophomore Ruby Kayser, but the Wolves wouldn't be denied.
Zralka tied the set at 23-23 with a kill. She then served two straight points to wrap up Tualatin's 25-23 first-set victory.
The Wolves carried their momentum into the second set. With senior Rylan Sornson serving, Loudd had two straight kills to give Tualatin a quick 3-1 lead.
Canby would rally to take a 7-5 lead, but it was a short-lived lead. Following a Zralka sideout kill, and with Friesen serving, the Wolves scored five straight points to got up 11-7. An ace by Phillips, a pair of kills by Loudd, a kill by sophomore Olivia Ashley and, to cap things off, an ace serve by Sornson helped Tualatin close out a 25-21 second-set win.
"We kept the energy going," Loudd said of the victories in the opening two sets.
Tualatin, looking to get a sweep, jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the third set on another ace by Sornson. But Canby wouldn't go away quietly. The Cougars, following three straight aces by McClellan, suddenly had momentum on their side — and they ran with it.
Canby, behind the serving of senior Diana Krishchenko, Kayser and senior Sam Fossati, quickly pushed its lead to 22-12. The Cougars went on to win the set 25-15, and they looked ready to power their way back into the match.
"We focused on our mistakes," Loudd said.
Canby, riding the momentum of its impressive third-set win, jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the fourth set. The Cougars' advantage was at 7-4 following a kill by Krishchenko. But the motivated Timberwolves were determined to battle back.
Tualatin, behind a pair of kills by Friesen, a block and a kill by Zralka and a kill by Olivia Ashley, off a Phillips set, rallied to take a 12-11 lead.
Canby came back to reclaim the lead at 20-19. Tualatin, getting another Olivia Ashley kill off a Phillips set, would rally to go up 21-20. And the Wolves wouldn't trail the rest of the way.
A kill by Zralka, and then, a victory-clinching tip by Loudd, helped the Wolves close out the 25-23 fourth-set win — and the match.
"I was kind of relieved," Loudd said of the final point. "We just really wanted it."
"It was thrilling," Zralka said. "We had a lot of energy."
"Were were determined," Loudd said. "That was really fun. It was the most fun game of the season so far."
The Wolves will be back in action today (Thursday) when they play at Lakeridge in a TRL three-way match. Tualatin will play Lakeridge at 4 p.m., and then face Lake Oswego at 5:30 p.m. On Tuesday, Tualatin will play at rival Tigard at 6:30 p.m.