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Cowgirls blow past Storm - Central Oregonian
October 29, 2012Crook County High School
Crook County struggled at times with their serving, passing, and setting, but were still able to sweep the Summit Storm 25-20, 25-22, 25-23 in the final Intermountain Hybrid and regular-season match of the year.
“Aaaaaahhhhh. We did it,” said Crook County head coach Rosie Honl excitedly following the match.
Playing on the road in front of a loud and sometimes hostile crowd, the Cowgirls were able to keep their composure regardless of what was going on around them.
It was senior night for the Storm, who are ranked third in the final Class 5A power rankings of the year. The league championship and bragging rights for the season were on the line when the two teams stepped onto the court. The Storm came into the match with an 8-1 league mark with their only loss coming at Crook County (9-0) earlier in the year.
The match was close throughout, with neither team ever holding more than a five-point advantage.
The Cowgirls led throughout the first set, but were unable to shake the taller Storm. Crook County led just 21-20 before Troutman hit a pair of kills to give the team some breathing room. Apperson then drilled a pair of aces to finish the set.
Crook County took an early lead once again in the second set. However, the Storm battled back, taking a 17-20 lead. The Cowgirls were finally able to tie the game at 21-21, then scored four of the next five points to take a three-point win.
The third set saw more of the same. Crook County took the early lead only to see Summit come back and take a 20-19 lead. However, a kill by Troutman and a net violation on one of Summit’s blockers were enough for Crook County to survive and take the two-point victory, and the sweep.
Honl was especially pleased because the win accomplished one of the Cowgirls’ goals for the season.
“One of our eight goals was to take league undefeated,” Honl said. “Now we’ve accomplished six of our eight goals.”
Honl has made no secret of the team’s goals for the year and so far the team has only missed one of its goals.
“Our goals were to take first or second in our top three tournaments,” Honl said. “We missed the Clearwater, but we made it in Seattle and we made it in the West Linn Tournament. Our other goals were to take the Mountain View and Oregon City Tournaments, to go undefeated at the Summit Jamboree, to go undefeated in league, and the last one is of course is — well I can’t say it out loud, but we’re on a journey to do something special.”
Makayla Lindburg led the Cowgirl attack with 16 kills, most of them coming on tips from the middle, while Hannah Troutman pounded the ball from the outside, finishing with 16 kills.
“A bunch of her tips were real perfect,” Honl said. “She’s so smart. And Hannah just pounded the ball. Judas Priest she hit the ball hard tonight.”
Karlee Hollis added seven kills for the Cowgirls, while Kathryn Kaonis led Crook County’s defensive efforts with four blocks.
Laney Hayes led the Summit attack with 10 kills while Emma Dahl and Kenzi Kitzmiller added seven and eight kills respectively.
The Cowgirls had four service errors in the first set of the match, but after that, they settled down, finishing the match 74-82 from the service line. Ali Apperson was 18-18 from the service line with four aces. Troutman also had a stellar serving night, going 15-16 with a pair of aces while Laken Berlin was 9-9 with an ace.
Lindburg and Troutman also led the team in digs with 12 and 11 respectively. Kayla Hamilton added six digs and finished with 42 assists.
“This team has improved more than any team I’ve ever had over the last eight weeks,” Honl said. “I’m excited.”
The Cowgirls finish the regular season with a 19-4 record. The team has earned the No. 1 seed for the Class 4A playoffs. With the high seed, Crook County does not have to face a play-in opponent — instead hosting a first round game on Saturday, Nov. 3, against a yet to be determined team.