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Tigers stay Sky-Em course for league title and more.

Byline: Paula Lincoln The Register-Guard

P r e p v o l l e y b a l l

Junction City went to the Class 3A state volleyball tournament as the No. 2 seed out of the Sky-Em League last year, lost to top-ranked Burns in the first round of bracket play, and then got bumped by Ontario.

The year before, the Tigers lost in the first round of the state playoffs and didn't make it to the tournament.

Junction City hopes to improve upon both those performances this year and the league-leading Tigers took a step in that direction on Monday when they beat visiting Cottage Grove 25-22, 25-17, 25-19 to improve to 8-0 in the Sky-Em League standings.

"We want to make the tournament and do good at state. I think we have the talent," senior Traci Garner said.

The Tigers, who last earned a state trophy in 1975, have a two-game lead on Pleasant Hill with four matches left in the regular season and can clinch at least a share of the league title by winning two of their final four matches.

If the Tigers do claim their first Sky-Em League title in recent years, Garner will have played a major role. The senior setter, who directs the offense for Junction City, had 28 assists spread among six different hitters Monday night.

"We mixed things up in the first game and then after that I got to who's hot," Garner said.

Kayla Rauschert was Garner's go-to hitter against the Lions. The junior - who plays both middle and outside - had 13 kills followed by Katie Rear with 11, Katie Nash with six and Erin Iskra with four.

Defensively, the Tigers made Garner's job easier by passing well. Libero Kerri Lane and Garner each had eight digs, and Iskra and Nash contributed seven and six, respectively.

Rear led Junction City's blocking with two solo and one assist.

Still, it took the Tigers a while to warm up, and Cottage Grove, which served four aces in the opening game, took advantage for a 9-4 first-game lead. Junction City finally closed the gap with a five-point run behind Rauschert's serving and the Tigers pulled away by scoring four of the game's final five points.

That momentum carried over into the second game where Junction City jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead and never trailed.

The third game was close until the Tigers benefited from a series of Lions' errors to score four straight points to extend their lead to 19-12.

Cottage Grove closed to 23-19 after a series of successful attacks, but Rear had a kill and the Lions came up short on an attack to end the match.

Blair Wilkinson had seven kills and two aces and Kayla Hansen had five kills to lead Cottage Grove, which also got 11 assists from Kasee Harris.

In other Sky-Em volleyball

Becky Bremer had 14 digs and Felicia Pleger had six kills to lead visiting Sisters past Marist 25-18, 25-20, 26-24.

KayCee Hallstrom had five kills, six digs and eight assists for the Spartans, and KelCee Hallstrom had four kills and five digs.

Braidy Bates had 15 kills, Amber Clark collected 24 assists and Dana Clark added 13 digs to lead Pleasant Hill past visiting La Pine 25-15, 21-25, 25-12, 25-13.

Lindsey Roderick led the Hawks with eight kills, and Kendall Hess had 15 assists.

Midwestern League

Kelsey Rogers helped keep Thurston (5-0) undefeated with a 16-kill, seven-dig performance in the Colts' 25-14, 25-16, 25-12 victory over visiting Springfield.

Erica Omlid added seven kills and 15 assists for Thurston, and Raquel Lopez recorded nine kills and six digs for the Millers.

Churchill's Ella Forrest had six kills, eight blocks and 16 digs, and Elizabeth Clark also had 18 digs to lead the Lancers in their 25-20, 25-18, 25-18 sweep at North Eugene.

Courtney Radekin had seven kills and 10 digs to lead the Highlanders.

Ali Worthen had 10 kills and Heather Porter added eight kills to pace visiting Marshfield past Willamette 25-10, 25-13, 25-9.

Leslie Silver also recorded five digs for the Pirates, and Hannah Smith had 14 assists.

PacWest League

Kaelene Spence had 15 kills, 24 digs and five aces for Creswell, which dropped a 25-17, 20-25, 25-21, 17-25, 20-18 decision to visiting Regis.

Carmen Kintz led the Rams with 21 kills, and Alex Minton had 23 digs and Deborah Tessier had 12 blocks. Emily Miller added 14 kills and 24 digs for the Bulldogs.

Harrisburg's Claire Duncan had 10 digs and five assists, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Eagles from being swept by visiting Santiam Christian, 25-15, 25-15, 25-6.

Brianna Looney had 13 kills and five blocks to lead visiting Jefferson past Waldport 23-25, 19-25, 25-19, 25-13, 16-14. Chrissi Grizzel added six kills and 23 assists for the Lions.

Sunset Six

Ashley Duey had 11 kills and 10 blocks, and Marley Kennedy added 10 kills and nine service points to lead visiting Myrtle Point past Gold Beach 25-1, 25-20, 25-10.

Amber Barnett also had 10 digs and six kills for the Bobcats.

Kelsey Moore had 13 assists and Kelly McLain added seven kills to pace Reedsport in its 25-21, 25-18, 25-15 win against visiting Bandon.

Mary Jo Pflaum had 12 kills and Carrie Russell added four aces to lead Coquille past visiting Glide 25-16, 25-20, 25-19.

Mountain West

K.C. Hatch had six kills and six aces, and Shauna Chun-Hatch recorded eight aces to lead Crow past visiting Siletz Valley and help the West Division-leading Cougars improve to 11-1 in league.

East Division leader Mohawk improved to 10-1 with a 25-16, 25-13, 25-18 victory against host Fairview Christian.

Dani Schreiber had eight kills and Ruby Henson recorded five aces to pace visiting Alsea in its 25-17, 17-25, 25-19, 25-22 victory against Eddyville.

Ellen Lied, Katy Renee and Kathy Morris all recorded six kills for McKenzie, which defeated host Oak Hill 25-8, 25-11, 25-21. Renee also added nine digs and eight aces.

Susannah Carroll had eight kills and five blocks to lead Mapleton past visiting Triangle Lake 25-16, 25-16, 25-21.

Alicia Holloway added 17 assists and five aces for the Sailors.

Katie Urlei had 18 aces and five kills to lead Lowell past visiting Lifegate Christian 25-9, 25-8, 25-5.

Heather Norris added seven aces for the Red Devils, who improved to 9-3 in league.
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Title Annotation:Sports; Junction City improves to 8-0 as it eyes a return trip to the state tournament
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Oct 10, 2006
Words:1055
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