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Cowgirls roll over Ravens - Central Oregonian

October 27, 2012
Crook County High School

Playing in front of the largest home crowd of the year, the Cowgirls looked nervous to begin their match with the Ridgeview Ravens.

The team had every reason to be nervous. Not only was it senior night, and the final home regular season match of the year, Ridgeview was coming off of big wins over Banks and Elmira who were ranked second and third in the state at the time.

“It was definitely overwhelming,” said senior team captain Makayla Lindburg. “I was definitely nervous having such a big crowd. I hit five balls out on my first swings.”

Lindburg quickly made up for the early errors, finishing with a game high 17 kills in just 27 attempts.

The slow start, coupled with a Ridgeview team that desperately needed a win to improve their seeding for the play-in games, made for a tight first set. There were seven ties in the set, with the final tie coming at 17-17. From there, the Cowgirls opened up a 23-18 lead. However, Ridgeview battled back before Crook County finally closed out the set 25-23.

“That first game wasn’t very nice,” said head coach Rosie Honl. “But that’s alright. They were nervous. It seems like senior night has always been like this.”

The Cowgirls seemed to gain confidence with the narrow win and rolled out to a 12-2 lead to start the second set. Crook County went on to win the set 25-8. The Cowgirls cruised out to a big lead again in the third and final set, taking an early 10-2 lead. From there, Crook County substituted freely, while trying to set some players who don’t always get a lot of chances. As a result, Ridgeview made a late run, but the Cowgirls still won the set 25-14.

“It feels awesome,” senior Annie Fraser said. “I think we played really well and I’m pumped and excited about state.”

The Cowgirls had a strong night from the service line, committing just three service errors as a team.

Hannah Troutman went 17-17 from the service line while Laken Berlin and Ali Apperson were 13-13 and 12-12 respectively.

“We needed a little bit to get going,” said Apperson, the team’s final senior. “But once we got going out there, we were fine. It’s a great group of girls and I’m really happy to be on this team.”

In addition to her strong serving, Troutman also had 13 kills and seven digs. Kathryn Kaonis and Annie Fraser each added five kills while Karlee Hollis pitched in with four.

Not only did Lindburg lead the Cowgirl offensive attack, she also led the team in blocks with six and digs with 17.

With the win, the Cowgirls guaranteed themselves the No. 1 seed for the Class 4A state playoffs. The team receives a bye for the play-in round and will host a first-round playoff game on Saturday, Nov. 3 against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.

The Cowgirls are currently 18-4 on the year, as well as 9-0 in the Intermountain Hybrid Conference.

Crook County traveled to Bend on Thursday to take on Summit in their final regular season match.

The Storm is currently ranked third in the Class 5A power rankings and has been playing strong volleyball the second half of the season.

Although the match does not impact the Cowgirls’ seeding, it has been a team goal all season to go undefeated in the IMC, so the team should still be motivated.

“We still have things to work on,”?Lindburg said. “But we are very positive and we are getting better every day.”

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