The league-leading Pioneers are tough in their Tuesday win over the Lions
The Lions knew it.
The Pioneers started fast, held off solid Lions’ challenges in the second and third sets and held on to win 25-12, 25-17, 25-16 at West Linn High School on Tuesday, Oct. 5.
“I feel like we needed more consistent passing and I feel like we struggled tonight to play as a team,” said West Linn senior outside hitter Addie Hoover. “I think that showed overall and our hitting wasn’t as up to par as it usually is either.”
“They have a very strong serving team and I think that’s what beat us,” said senior outside hitter Amyah Semau. “They’re a really good team. They really are.”
“(The key was) definitely not letting serve receive get to us,” added junior setter Olivia Doel. “And I think we definitely need to not have those runs of points. Once we take care of that, we are right there.”
With the loss, the team’s third in its last four matches, the Lions fell to 5-3 in Three Rivers League play and 10-7 overall. Oregon City, meanwhile, ranked sixth in the latest Class 6A coaches poll, won for the 10th straight time and improved to 8-0 in TRL play and 13-2 overall. Next up, the Lions will play Lakeridge at Lakeridge High School at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6.
The Lions led early in the first set at 4-2 on a Semau ace, but the Pioneers responded with a 10-1 scoring run highlighted by four kills from sophomore outside hitter Paige Thies and a pair of Oregon City aces.
The Lions fell behind 20-9 on an ace from OC sophomore setter Phoebe Hyland, but edged back within 20-12 on a Doel tip, a block from junior Alana Ryan and a Doel ace. But the Pios closed out the set at 25-12 on a West Linn error, kills from Thies and junior middle blocker Brooke Williams, and a pair of aces from junior outside hitter McKenna Brent.
West Linn was much tougher in the second set, pushing ahead 14-12 on a three-point run capped by two straight Semau kills. Oregon City took over from there, though, stitching together a 13-3 span to end the set at 25-17. That stretch included three kills from Thies, another two by Williams and a Brent ace.
“The second set, I think we picked it up,” Semau said. “Throughout the match, we got more competitive.”
The Pioneers took their momentum into the third set, with Oregon City using a seven-point run — which included four aces by senior defensive specialist Samantha Keightley — to lead 9-3. They then extended their edge to 16-4 on back-to-back kills by sophomore outside hitter Grace Landon.
But the Lions didn’t roll over and die. They responded with one of their best stretches of the night, ripping off a 10-4 run to close within 20-14. That span was highlighted by two kills and an ace from sophomore setter Allison Hawk, a pair of Semau kills and a block and a kill from senior outside hitter Olivia Trobetsky.
Oregon City wasn’t going to let this one slip away, though. The Pios got three aces and one kill each from Thies and Williams to win 25-16.
Despite the loss, the Lions said they were confident that they’ll be ready to compete with the state’s best teams by the end of the year.
“I think we just need to stay positive and move on from our errors and know that we can hang with any team in the state,” Hoover said.
For the match, Semau finished with six kills and two aces, while Hoover had five kills. For OC, Thies finished with 14 kills, Williams added nine more and Keightley had seven aces.
See the complete slideshow from this match by clicking here.
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