VOLLEYBALL - David Douglas earns playoff berth
by: David Ball, Damascus Christian's Alyssa Whitrock prepares to serve during the Eagles' four-game win against Columbia Christian on Thursday night.

Damascus Christian all but wrapped up the Valley 10 league volleyball title Thursday night with a four-game win against second-place Columbia Christian.

The host Eagles won three straight games after dropping the opener. Damascus completed its run by coming back from a double-digit deficit in Game 4, closing out the match with a 25-23 win.

Columbia appeared ready to force the match to a decisive fifth game after charging to a 16-6 lead, but Damascus put together several long scoring spurts to close the gap. The Eagles pulled to within a single point when Alyssa Whitrock beat Columbia's Elizabeth Tolon to a floater above the net, deflecting a winner past her outstretched hands.

Damascus converted match point when setter Ashley Butler sent a quick-attack over the net catching the Knights by surprise. The ball fell in the middle of the court just in front of a player diving in from the back row.

The win gives Damascus (12-1) the top seed going into next week's league tournament at North Clackamas Christian.

In Mount Hood Conference action, David Douglas (9-5) clinched a playoff berth with a sweep against Sandy.

Look for expanded volleyball coverage in the Saturday, Oct. 21, issue of the Gresham Outlook.

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