South's defense big in win

South Medford's tenacious defense was a key factor as the Panthers defeated Ashland, 25-23, 25-23, 29-27, in Southern Oregon Hybrid volleyball Thursday.

"Our ability to keep the ball in play really led us to success," said South Medford coach Sarah Costa. "The other thing was we worked together to get the job done."

Sam Owirka, a junior right-side hitter, sparked the Panther offense with 11 kills.

"Sam really stepped up on offense," said Costa. "She had kill after kill after kill. It's all clicking with her."

South (5-1) got strong defensive performances from senior libero Amanda Gardner (15 digs) and junior Emily Cutting (nine digs).

Outside hitter Madi Sash provided eight kills, and Miranda Marincus and Bree Polk each contributed seven.

Setter Hanna Curtius was responsible for 24 assists.

EAGLE POINT 3, NORTH MEDFORD 1 — At Eagle Point, the Eagles evened their overall record at 4-4 with a 25-13, 25-21, 22-25, 25-22 Southern Oregon Hybrid win.

Tatum Winter had 10 kills and Jenna Richardson nine for EP, while Lesley Nielson amassed 25 digs and Ashley Wilson served four aces.

North Medford (2-4, 1-2 SOH), got six kills each from Caiti Barrie and Katy Carter, 17 digs and five aces from libero Kim Gomez and 14 digs each from Danielle Smith and Telsche Munson, who also had nine assists.

ROSEBURG 3, GRANTS PASS 1 — At Grants Pass, Roseburg won the Southern Oregon Hybrid match, 25-14, 25-14, 18-25, 25-13.

Hannah Johnson led the Cavers with seven kills and 10 blocks, while Mikayla Morgan had seven blocks and 21 assists.

NORTH VALLEY 3, PHOENIX 1 — At Phoenix, North Valley used some big service runs to defeat Phoenix, 25-23, 19-25, 25-18, 25-14.

Senior outside Ashley Hendricks smacked 11 kills to lead the Pirates.

HIDDEN VALLEY 3, MAZAMA 0 — At Murphy, undefeated Hidden Valley's tough serving kept Mazama off balance in a 25-7, 25-18, 25-22 victory to open Skyline Conference play.

According to the OSAA power rankings, Mazama is No. 2 in Class 4A and Hidden Valley (6-0, 1-0 Sky) is No. 3.

Junior middle Bailey Bars had 15 kills and six aces for Hidden Valley. Libero Sabrina Peckham added five aces and 24 digs and Amanda Doig four aces and 26 assists.

LAKEVIEW 3, ILLINOIS VALLEY 0 — At Cave Junction, senior outside Katie Stofleth pounded 11 kills to lead Lakeview to a 28-26, 25-13, 25-16 Southern Cascade Hybrid victory.

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