State Playoffs (First Round)
|Junction City (25, 15, 25, 25)|
|Estacada (14, 25, 8, 21)|
It's been a season of great accomplishments for the Estacada volleyball squad.
The Rangers won the Tri-Valley Conference title with a 9-1 record in league play and got to host their first round playoff match at home after finishing the regular season as the seventh-ranked team in the state.
But with a trip to the state tournament on the line, the Rangers couldn't get it done in their most important match of the season.
Junction City came into Estacada's home gym and won the match 25-14, 15-25, 25-8, 25-21 on Saturday night, eliminating the Rangers from the playoffs.
While the look of disappointment was quite apparent on the faces of the Estacada players, head coach Mike King was their to remind them what a great season they had.
"I'm proud of what we have done this season," King said. "This loss tonight does not define how well we have done all year. What defines us is our growth and how we have matured."
Junction City scored four straight points to begin the first game to gain the early advantage. Even though a big kill from Trinity Gach got the lead down to 4-2, the Rangers couldn't come back from the rally that Junction City put together.
The Tigers went on an incredible 11-0 run to take a 15-4 lead, silencing the energetic hometown crowd.
A kill from Makaelyn Jennings finally stopped the bleeding, but it only delayed the inevitable as Junction City finished off the double-digit victory moments later.
While the Rangers have high-quality outside hitters in Jennings and Sidnee Keller, Estacada was without arguably their best swinger in Tessa Reidel, who was forced to miss her fifth straight match with a knee injury.
"What we lost was depth," King said. "Having another player that allowed us to go a little bit deeper on the bench…That's the biggest thing that we lost."
After getting knocked down in the opening set, Estacada proved that they weren't going to go down without a fight in the following game.
Look for extended coverage in the Nov. 1 print edition.