The North Medford volleyball team struggled behind the service stripe and had to fight off at least one set point in the opening set, but thanks in part to the outstanding play of Lauren Barry and Kyleigh Lopez, it recovered in time to sweep Grants Pass Tuesday at North Medford High School.
The Black Tornado won 29-27, 25-15, 25-22 for its third win in its last four matches, improving to 10-5 overall and 1-1 in the Southwest Conference.
Barry, a junior outside hitter, had 13 kills and 11 digs, and Lopez, a senior setter, had 31 assists and two spectacular dig saves that led to momentum-grabbing points for the Tornado.
“(Lopez) chased a ball down that most kids wouldn’t have even thought to go get,” North Medford coach Malcolm Munson said. “One was way outside the boundary areas and past the bench.”
Lopez had 31 assists, Jenna Sandstrom eight kills and two solo blocks and Allie Hertager 12 of North’s 45 digs. Riley Stewart added 10 digs.
Munson said Barry was clutch as the Tornado pulled away.
“Late in the third set we went to (Barry) quite a bit,” he said. “She had six kills in that third set and down the stretch was really good for us.”
Grants Pass fell to 8-11, 0-2 in SWC play.
SOUTH EUGENE 3, SOUTH MEDFORD 0: At Eugene, Evelyn Laupola led South Medford with five blocks, but the more experienced South Eugene squad rolled to the SWC blowout.
Catherine Rostel had five kills and Maggie Hutto four for South Medford (7-4, 1-1 SWC). Matlyn Leetch added 16 assists.
South Eugene (9-5, 1-1) has won six of its last eight matches.
CRATER 3, NORTH BEND 0: At North Bend, Nehkyah Ellis had 17 kills, seven digs and two aces to power the Comets over winless North Bend, 25-10, 25-4, 25-16.
Addison Lowder added 11 kills and a block, Maya Van Hook nine kills and three blocks and Jadyn Carothers 35 assists for Crater (10-1, 7-0 Midwestern League), which has lost just two sets in league play. Rane Jensen and Heather Colmer had nine digs apiece for the Comets.
North Bend fell to 0-9, 0-8 in the MWL.
NORTH EUGENE 3, ASHLAND 0: At Ashland, North Eugene swept Ashland, 25-13, 25-6, 25-18, in Midwestern League action at Mountain Avenue Gym.
The win allowed the Highlanders (8-1, 7-0 MWL) to keep pace with Crater atop the league standings, while Ashland fell to 3-6, 3-3 in league play.
PHOENIX 3, MAZAMA 0: At Phoenix, Sophia Tringolo had 15 assists and five kills and Anna Ellis 10 assists and six aces as Phoenix ended a seven-match losing streak with the Skyline victory, 25-20, 25-7, 25-15.
Celeste Mackinnon had six kills and a block, Abigail George five aces and four kills and Josie Bolstad four kills for the Pirates (3-9, 1-1 Skyline), who won for the first time since Sept. 8.
Mazama (2-8, 0-2) suffered its fourth loss in a row.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 3, SUTHERLIN 0: At Sutherlin, Cascade Christian exhibited a balanced attack to sweep the Far West League match, 25-18, 25-19, 25-17.
The Challengers (8-2, 2-0 FWL) got double-digit kills from Caroline McMahon and Olivia Borg. McMahon had 13 kills, three aces and 14 digs. Borg had 11 kills and five aces.
Kaylee Cannon provided six kills and 11 digs against Sutherlin (2-6, 0-2), while Taylor Cave amassed 31 assists.
ST. MARY’S 3, DOUGLAS 2: St. Mary’s got off to a fast start, then regrouped for the Far West League home win, 25-20, 25-18, 16-25, 25-27, 15-13.
Natalie Thickett and Hallie Shean had 14 and 11 kills, respectively, for the Crusaders (4-7, 1-1 FWL). Shean was 22 of 23 serving with four aces, and Thickett 14 of 16 with three aces.
Thickett sparked St. Mary’s to an early lead in the fifth set with four consecutive kills. Douglas tied it at 8-8 and 13-13 before the Crusaders finished it.
Katie Rietmann added six blocks, and Abbie Christman was 14 of 15 serving with three aces.
Libero Lauren Russo made several big plays in the final set for St. Mary’s.