Lake Oswego volleyball fights off Lakeridge challenge 3-1
The Lake Oswego volleyball team didn't have any trouble getting "up" for its last match.
Neither did Lakeridge.
Indeed, the Lakers and Pacers battled hard for four sets at Lakeridge High School on Thursday, Sept. 25, with Lake Oswego eventually pulling away to win 20-25, 25-13, 25-15 and 25-22.
"It's always a big rivalry no matter what time of year it is," said Lake Oswego junior right-side hitter Kendall Kaelin, who led her team in kills against the Pacers. "It's just like, go hard or go home. It's a fun one."
"We love this game, especially for some of us seniors, knowing this might be our last time playing here," said Lake Oswego senior right-side hitter/outside hitter Jordan Noble. "It was exciting for us."
With the win, the Lakers moved to 3-3 and third place in the Three Rivers League and 7-4 overall. The Pacers, meanwhile, lost for a second straight time in TRL play and fell to 2-4 and sixth in league and 9-4 overall.
"I thought it was fun and I was glad that we put up a fight," said Lakeridge sophomore outside hitter Ema Meier. "We'll get them next time."
"In the first game, we went into that game with a lot of energy and confidence because we kind of had nothing to lose," added Lakeridge junior middle blocker Kendall Baldwin. "But going into the second game, we started off with that same confidence, but it died down and didn't stay consistent which is what ended up getting us."
The Pacers led just 17-16 late in the night's first set, but pulled away to win from there, with Meier serving her team through a three-point run, Baldwin and freshman Niyah Coleman collecting kills and winning on a Laker missed serve.
"Before the game, we all got together and talked about our goals for the game," Baldwin said. "And we definitely were trying to bond and get that togetherness involved in the prep for the game and not just to think about what we were going to do physically."
"We put up a fight and I loved that," Meier said. "I think we put balls down and we had a lot of hustle and we kept our energy up."
Suitably awakened, the Lakers came back with their biggest win of the night in the second set. They led just 7-6 early, but outscored the Pacers 18-7 the rest of the way, with senior outside hitter Jensen Kaelin collecting five kills in the game, while Kendall Kaelin and Noble added three each, and junior setter/right-side hitter Kora Butvill had a pair of aces.
The Lakers kept their foot squarely on the accelerator in the third set, cranking out another solid win — 25-15 — to lead 2-1 in sets. While Baldwin had three kills to try and keep the Pacers close, the Lakers got six kills and a block from Kendall Kaelin, four kills from Jensen Kaelin, and three each from Noble and senior outside hitter McKenna Joyce to pull away.
The fourth set, however, was a pitched battle that featured eight ties and six lead changes, with the Lakers not taking over for good until Joyce's crosscourt kill from the left side gave Lake Oswego a 17-16 lead.
The Pacers didn't go down easily, though, staying within 23-20 and 24-21 on Laker hitting errors, and 24-22 on a Baldwin ace before Joyce ended the match with a kill from the left side set by freshman Grace Wollmuth.
"There were some nerves (after the first-set loss), but we worked out the kinks and came back stronger as a team," Kendall Kaelin said. "We came together as a unit and helped each other grow as one."
"Maybe there was a little bit of nerves, but we realized that as long as we worked well as a team and worked together and relied on each other, we would come out and dominate just like we did," Noble said.
In the fourth set, Jensen Kaelin came through with five kills and a block, Kendall Kaelin had another five kills, Noble added four kills, Joyce had three kills and a block, and junior defensive specialist Audrey Wojcik added two aces.
For Lakeridge, Baldwin had her best set of the night, finishing the fourth set with four kills and three aces, while junior middle blocker/outside hitter Becca Skirvin and Meier added two kills each.
After the contest, the Pacers said they just needed to stay strong mentally.
"I think our mental game needs to be a lot stronger, but I think after we get that all figured out, I think we got it nailed," Meier said.
"I would (agree) the mental part … is a big part of it because we're really good at starting off strong, but we need to learn how to be consistent," Baldwin added.
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