Week also featured two wins over 6A teams in tournament over the weekend

On paper, the Estacada volleyball match against Molalla wasn’t expected to be much of a challenge. With a 3-3 record and a much smaller roster along the front line, it appeared as if Estacada would cruise to an easy victory.

The Indians weren’t giving up that easily, however.

Plagued by errors and miscues throughout the match, the Rangers struggled to assert themselves throughout the opening game.

by: PHOTO BY LOREN NIBBE - Sophomore Sarah Davies goes up for the block as the Rangers dominated the net against Molalla and earned a 3-0 sweep.After a big smash from Sam Hammons, the Rangers traded points with Molalla before taking a 7-6 lead early on. With a critical point on the line, the teams had a big back-and-forth rally that nearly hit the floor on Estacada’s side if not for an incredible diving save from Genna Settle. With the point kept alive, the Rangers set up Tori Johnson for a spike, and she pounded the ball into the Molalla ranks to keep up the Estacada momentum.

That point ended up fueling a 6-1 run from Estacada that finally opened up the scoring a bit.

After the Indians responded with a small 4-2 run of their own, Estacada put the game away with a 10-1 run to close things out behind the serving of Sarah Davies for a 25-12 victory.

Feeling confident, possibly too much so, the Rangers came out slowly in the second game, giving Molalla its first lead of the match early on at 3-2. With four straight points, Estacada seemed to find its groove in the middle of the game, opening up a 22-13 lead before falling asleep once again.

This time, Molalla scored five straight to cut the lead to just four before another Johnson spike, a Jessica Wheeler spike and a Katie Nation ace sealed up the game at 25-20.

If the Rangers thought they had coasted in the second game, however, the third game was a rude awakening. Toward the end of the match, the Rangers fell behind 22-17 and were on the verge of dropping the game completely.

With the help of senior Rachel Lowe, the Rangers rallied and knotted the game up at 24 before winning the next two points to earn the sweep, 26-24.

“Molalla had great defense, and the girls were thrown for a loop,” head coach Shawna Lippert said. “I would have had a hard time if Molalla had taken a game from us.”

Hammons and Davies ended up leading the Rangers with nine kills each, while Davies, Haley Lusher and Kassidy Runyan each notched a perfect serve percentage and two aces each.

In other recent matches:

• North Marion (25-3, 25-17, 25-17) — The Rangers used this match to experiment with some new lineups and gave some kids more of an opportunity to play. Davies led the team with eight aces, while Rachel Lowe tallied 10 kills.

• Oregon City tournament — In a tournament with mostly 6A teams, the Rangers fared pretty well and even notched two wins over 6A teams. The Rangers beat Oregon City (25-14, 25-15) and Wilson (25-11, 25-16) in pool play, but losing to Tigard (21-25, 12-25) left Estacada as the second-seeded team in the pool. That seeding put them into the tournament’s top bracket and pitted them against Crook County. “You would have thought we were going up against the Olympic team,” Lippert said. “They were deer in the headlights, and we were unable to move and read their offense. We never gave them a chance to play and show off their stuff; my girls didn’t show up mentally.” The Rangers ultimately lost to Crook County 15-25, 10-25.

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