Panthers down Cavers, make state

If the South Medford girls soccer team is to have any chance of competing for a state championship, it'll have to finish the season the same way it began — with a six-game win streak.

The Panthers will get their shot to run the table after defeating Grants Pass 2-0 Monday on a wet Spiegelberg Stadium field. The Southwest Conference tiebreaker win puts South in the Class 6A playoffs. It (9-5) travels to Tualatin on Saturday in the first round.

The Panthers scored first in the 20th minute when a shot attempt by Anna Sours deflected off the hands of the Cavers' goalie and Shanae Coker was there to tap the ball in.

In the second half, the Panthers used another rebound to net again when Kelly Dunlap collected and connected from 18 yards out after a shot from Becca Deats clanged off the bar and bounced in front of Dunlap.

The Panthers outshot the Cavers 16-2, and aside from a five-minute spurt in the second half, the Panthers dominated possession.

Panthers goalkeeper Ana Tozier didn't touch the ball in the first half and only had to make two non-threatening saves in the second half to earn the shutout.

"We're gonna be hard to beat," said Panthers coach Terry Fretz about his team's playoff chances. "I think knowing that we've been in all these games, but just not finishing our shots, will pay off. I've seen a lot of maturity in the girls."


SOUTH MEDFORD 3, SOUTH EUGENE 1 — At Eugene, South Medford overcame service errors with stellar serve-receive to earn the fourth and final state playoff spot from the Southwest Conference with a 25-18, 25-20, 20-25, 25-13 league tiebreaker victory over South Eugene.

South Medford visits fourth-ranked Gresham Wednesday in the opening round.

The Panthers (18-13) committed 19 serving errors over the first two games — which they won — then made 19 in a Game 3 loss. They had just four miscues in Game 4.

In the fourth game, the Panthers jumped out to an 11-4 lead, and after a three-point spurt from South Eugene, put the match out of reach with a 20-7 advantage.

Courtney Guches' six-point run brought South Medford from behind in the second game to earn a 17-11 lead.

Tori Glover paced the Panthers with 17 kills, and setter Sara George racked up 46 assists.

South Medford setters Carli Sash and Kinzie Towry combined for just three serve-receive errors and Towry added 12 kills.

EAGLE POINT 3, CRATER 2 — At Central Point, Eagle Point's serving and play at the net kept Crater off balance and out of the Class 5A playoffs, 25-16, 25-19, 21-25, 24-26, 15-12 in a Southern Sky Conference tiebreaker match.

Senior outside hitter Katie Joliffe generated 20 kills and 12 digs, and junior outside Erin Hedrick helped the net attack with 13 for the Eagles (5-4 SSC), who open the playoffs at West Albany Saturday.

Kayla Mathis had 11 kills and Taylor Higy added 10 for the Eagles. Senior setters Ellery Kaiser and Ashley Josephson combined for 43 assists.

Senior outside hitter Breanne Reavis tallied 11 kills and three aces to pace the Comets in both categories. Sophomore Taylor Meckey added nine kills.

The Comets (4-8) got 31 digs from senior libero Reanne Allen.

NORTH VALLEY 3, ROGUE RIVER 2 — At Merlin, North Valley staved off a comeback attempt by Rogue River to earn the third and final Skyline Conference berth to state in a 26-24, 25-21, 17-25, 23-25, 16-14 victory.

Rogue River's Chelsea Westlake posted seven blocks and Jessica Freitas added seven aces, 16 assists and three digs.

Ashley Falleur contributed with 10 kills and five blocks for the Chieftains, who received seven kills, two blocks and five digs from Sabrina Smith and seven digs, two blocks, two kills and two aces from Ashley Phillips.

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