Volleyball: Panthers start season in strong fashion – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

BEND — South Medford volleyball coach Robin Akpan understands how tough the competition will be in the Southwest Conference this season, and at Friday’s Mountain View Invitational, he will be competing against quality opponents. I was happy with what I saw from the team.

The Panthers defeated Thurston (22-25, 25-10, 15-9) and Caldera (25-15, 25-16) and the Sisters (25-22, 25-20) at Mountain View High School.

“We are at a good start to the season,” said Akpan. “I think he got off to a 2-1 start at such a high level of competition.

Over three games, senior outside hitter Katie Clevenger had 28 kills. Her best effort came in Class 5A in her opener against Thurston, where she recorded 12 kills and she had four service aces. Cameron Christian, also a senior, added 16 digs and three aces, but her 6-point run on the service line in the second set would forever turn her momentum in favor of the Panthers. Helpful.

“Outside the gate, I think I was nervous on my first set with Thurston, but after those passed, we really made it,” Akpan said. It was fun to watch them come in. I think our ball control and defense was good.”

Laura Horton also had five blocks and setter Bailey Davis had 17 assists.

Against Caldera, Clevenger had 8 kills and 11 digs while Davis excelled defensively with 18 digs and 3 aces. Freshman middle blocker Mayen Akpan scored his 3 kills and 2 blocks, and Naomi Johnson added his 4 kills.

The Panthers came shy in the final game of the night, which was also the toughest test against the Sisters. Clevenger finished with 8 kills and 8 digs, Davis had 20 assists, Mayen Akpan had 5 kills and 3 blocks, Johnson had 3 kills and 3 aces, and Horton had 2 blocks and 2 kills. was recorded.

“Clevenger was on fire and the setter (Davis) found all the hitters. The final game of the day was a challenge for us,” said Akpan. , gave us something to go home and work on, they had some strong hitters and we had to adapt to them and we were a little slow in adapting.But we again I will meet them and know what to do.”

South Salem 3, North Medford 2: North Medford took on No. 8 South Salem, but Black Tornado couldn’t round out the Saxons in a five-set thriller of 25-23, 17-25, 25-23, 25-27 and 10-15. was. at North Medford High.

North (1-1), who beat Ashland in the season opener, will take the final two sets with Larry, the Saxons, who reached the Class 6A quarterfinals last season.

Tornado senior Muddy Blake had 20 assists, while senior Olivia Stubenroach and freshman Christina Atonio both had nine kills. Senior libero Amy Crook recorded his 26 digs, while his rear Attonio added his team-high three serves and his ace to the North.

North sophomore middle blocker Nana Sirafau had a big game on defense, recording 7 1/2 blocks.

Crater wins a pair: At Bend, Crater bounced back from a season-opening loss to No. 4-ranked Sheldon with two wins over Barnes and hosts Mountain View to finish 2-1 in the Mountain View Invitational.

The Comets (2-1) ranked ninth in the Class 5A preseason coaches’ poll, playing tough against Ireland before falling in straight sets 25-23, 25-9, then trailing the Cougars 23-1. 25, beaten 25-19. 15-12 and Class 3A Highlanders 25-23, 25-21.

Senior outside hitter Kendra Bittle led the Comets in kills in all three games, finishing with 28 for the day. Fellow senior outside hitter Maddy Concina added 11 kills, while senior setter Kate Stidham added 47 assists in three games.


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