Estacada turns back a challenge in the opening set to make quick work of Molalla

The Indians just couldn’t quite keep up on the court with the Estacada Rangers Thursday.

Set one opened close, but Estacada pulled ahead to a 15-8 lead. The Indians didn’t let the point spread upset them though. They rallied and almost closed in on the tie at 16-14.

However, the Rangers were undeterred. They slammed spikes through Molalla’s defense and kept the Indians backcourt scrambling. The first set ended 25-19.

At the beginning of the second set, it seemed Molalla’s fight had fizzled out. The Rangers took a quick 5-0 lead, playing with perfect fundamentals.

Estacada’s back row passed into the attack zone, and their setters were coordinated and precise. But it was their attacks that impressed most, and they weren’t short of aggressive players either.

Jessica Wheeler, Bri Wood, Sarah Davies, Ashley Teel, and Kassidy Runyan all powered balls into Molalla’s territory. The Indians dug in and kept the ball in play, but they had trouble setting themselves up to attack.

Then the game shift, slowly. Perhaps the Rangers were overconfident from their first-set win and early lead, but Molalla started picking up points from Estacada errors. As the score closed in on a tie, the Indians gained momentum for the attack.

The score evened at 20-20, and then Molalla took the lead by two. Estacada called a timeout, and when they came back on the court they seemed determined to take the win.

The Rangers snatched three points, and the score bounced to 23-23. With the pressure on, Estacada crumbled. Molalla took the second set 25-23 off a bad serve and a bungled Estacada attack.

The Indians kept up in the third set, but they didn’t get as lucky. Estacada nabbed it 25-19 and went on to a fourth-set win 25-12.

The Indians lost 3-1.

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