Sixth seed Cottage Grove traveled to third seed Valley Catholic last Tuesday Nov. 2 after the Lions bounced Tillamook in the first round of the playoffs. The Lions were able to win the first set but Valley Catholic went on to win the next three sets as The Valiants won in four sets over Cottage Grove ending the Lions season.
The first set saw neither team gain more than a five-point lead until later in the set. Junior Blakely Herbert served two aces in a row to break a 17-17 tie giving the Lions a 19-17 lead.
Two more hits would go out for Valley Catholic holding a lead for Cottage Grove at 21-18. Gracie Arnold would make it three points in a row with a hit in forcing the opposing coach to call a timeout with the Lions leading 22-18.
A Cottage Grove block at the net and a hit from Taylor McKay would end the first set in favor of the Lions 25-20.
Valley Catholic would respond in the second set going on a 10-3 scoring run to take a big 18-11 lead over Cottage Grove and not looking back.
Izabell Senters and Mckay scored back-to-back points making The Valiants lead by only five at 21-16. But two Cottage Grove mistakes gave Valley Catholic a golden opportunity to close out the set leading 24-18. Fran Eisenhardt’s hit would go past the Lion defense for the point giving Valley Catholic the set win 25-18.
The third set continued to be close until Valley Catholic’s Kylee King got back to serve for the Valiants. She served four total aces in her run growing the Valley Catholic lead to 19-10.
Gracie Arnold and Herbert scored back-to-back points late in the set, but wouldn’t be enough as Valley Catholic was in total control at that point.
Addie Emerson helped close out the set with a big hit that went down the right line and another hit that would be called in ending the set 25-16 for Valley Catholic.
The Valiant student section chanted “one more set” as their team was on the cusp of advancing to the semi-finals in Corvallis.
Cottage Grove tried to make sure the game would go one more set as The Lions took a 13-11 lead making the Valiants call a timeout. Cottage Grove held a lead until Valley Catholic came storming back to tie the game at 20.
The Valiants would go on a 6-1 run only needing one more point to advance into the next round. Coach Ladd called her last timeout trying to re-focus her group one more time while the Valley Catholic student section chanted “one more point”. Emerson scored the last point Valley Catholic needed as they knocked out the Lions and prevailed 25-21 over Cottage Grove.
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