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Cowgirls overpower Mustangs
Straight set victory over Hidden Valley earns Crook County trip to state championships in Eugene
Makayla Lindburg goes up for one of her 19 kills in the Cowgirls victory over the Hidden Valley Mustangs. With the win the Cowgirls reach the OSAA Class 4A State Volleyball Championships which will be held Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9-10 at Lane Community College in Eugene. Crook County will play Elmira in the quarterfinals on Friday.
November 05, 2012
The Crook County Cowgirls left no doubt who the superior team was as they rolled past the Hidden Valley Mustangs (25-9, 25-10, 25-16) and on to the state championships.
“Nice job ladies,”?head coach Rosie Honl told her team following the match. “Way to do it with an exclamation point.”
The Cowgirls led just 6-4 early in the first set, then went on a 19-4 tear to close out the set. The second set started even more easily for Crook County who jumped out to a 10-2 lead.
The team cruised to a 22-5 lead before Hidden Valley made a short run late in the set. By the time the set ended, Crook County had already emptied their bench and gone away from their primary attack.
With the match no longer in doubt, the Cowgirls seemed to relax in the third set. The Mustangs took advantage running out to a 7-4 lead. However, the lead was short-lived as the Cowgirls regained control of the match, outscoring the mustangs 21-9 the remainder of the way.
“The girls got in there and got it done,” Honl said. “They controlled the game and they played so smart.”
Honl admitted that she was nervous prior to the match. Hidden Valley is a perennial powerhouse. The Mustangs finished second to the Cowgirls at last year’s state championships, and fell to the Cowgirls in the semifinals the year before. On top of that Honl had missed the entire week of practice while attending the National Amateur Athletic Union conference.
“Kristy Struck and Jessica Cross did a great job running practice this week,” Honl said. “They said that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday practice was just great — and it showed tonight.”
Honl didn’t need to worry. The Cowgirls were nearly error-free in the first two sets. The team made just one service error in the first two games and their passing was nearly perfect.
“The serving in the first and second game was fantastic,” Honl said. “You know that’s always scary in state playoff games because they get nervous.”
Not only did the Cowgirls look sharp throughout the match, everyone on the team contributed to the victory.
As an example, Honl noted that Samantha Kaonis was 7-7 from the service line in the match despite not serving in another match all year.
Laken Berlin, Hannah Troutman, and Ali Apperson were also outstanding from the service line going 19-20, 16-18, and 14-14 respectively.
Kayla Hamilton did a solid job directing the Cowgirl offense while Makayla Lindburg, Annie Fraser, and Troutman all finished with double-figures in kills.
Lindburg was especially masterful with 19 kills in just 28 attempts while making only one error. Troutman may have been even more impressive, blasting 11 kills in 14 attempts — also with just one error.
Lindburg and Troutman also led the Cowgirl defense with 11 digs apiece, while Apperson added five.
With the victory, Crook County raised their record to 19-4, while Hidden Valley finished their season with a 13-7 record. More importantly for the Cowgirls, the win qualifies them for the OSAA?Class 4A state championships, which will be held Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9-10, at Lane Community College in Eugene.
The Cowgirls will open their quest for a seventh-consecutive state championship with a match against Elmira in the tournament quarterfinals Friday afternoon.
Elmira should be a more difficult opponent for Crook County. The Falcons currently boast a 20-6 record and finished second to Sisters in the Sky-Em League. In addition, they are ranked third in the final OSAA?power rankings of the season.
The winner of the match between Crook County and Elmira will face the winner of a match between Madras and La Grande, Friday night, at 8:30 p.m., while the losers will meet Saturday morning, at 10 a.m., in the consolation rounds.
Other teams to watch for in the tournament are second-ranked Sisters, who will play Astoria Friday afternoon, and fourth-ranked Banks who opens the tournament against Phoenix.
“I’m so excited,” Honl said. “The girls are ready. They are so focused and they are just so smart.”