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The Cougars gave up an early lead to the Lakers, dropping the final three sets of the match

TANNER RUSS - Canby's volleyball team would fall in a hard fought battle against the Lake Oswego Lakers on Wednesday, Sept. 20 on the road. Lake Oswego—Canby's volleyball team had just suffered its first defeat, a 0-3 set shutout at the hands of Three Rivers League front runners West Linn. Going into Wednesday night's game against the Lake Oswego Lakers, the Cougars looked to rebound in a big way. They almost had won handily, but ended up falling to the Laker's 3-2 on a foreign court.

The game started off competitively, with Canby taking a slight lead early in the first set. Kills from senior Sam Fossati and freshman Audra Wilmes, among others, would keep them out early. But Lake Oswego would battle back claiming the lead 8-7 in the first set, only relinquishing it a few plays later on the back of sophomore captain Ruby Kayser's aces at the 11-11 mark. The Lakers would maintain their lead out until the 16 point mark, until Canby's freshman Daley McClellan would get a kill that would put the Cougar's up for the remainder of the set. Canby would close it out 25-21.

The second set would prove to be just as competitive. Lake Oswego would get the first point, but Canby would seize the lead shortly thereafter, establishing a lead that they would ride on until the end of the set. Wilmes would have several kills to further Canby's lead, the match 14-20 at one point in the Cougars favor. But Lake Oswego would claw themselves back into the competition, with the Lakers senior libero Jackie Harmon and junior Anna Kate Treske helping bring their team to 23-24. It was not enough to win the set however, as Canby sophomore Kennedy Ogden would close the set in Canby's favor. However, the momentum was beginning to turn.

"Anna Kate Treske really came on, she had 17 kills out of the middle, and my setter (junior) Olivia Salita did a really great job getting the middles the ball," Lake Oswego coach Susan Denham said post game. "I thought they really stepped up for us."

In the third set, Lake Oswego ran out to a 6-0 lead. Canby would battle back, but still the Lakers led the way. Bad luck would strike Canby when Fossati would collide head first with the referees stand. Fossati would be pulled from the game citing dizziness, something made more worrisome with concussions in her past. It was a crucial blow to the Cougars.

TANNER RUSS - Senior Sam Fossati would suffer a head injury in Canby's match with Lake Oswego, and would be pulled from the game. Canby would drop the game, three sets to two. "(Sam's) our key outside, so we normally feed the ball to her and she keeps the ball in play, and it was hard, especially setting, to be missing that link," said Kayser after the match. "I think the players who stepped in did a good job ball handling wise, I just think the energy was missing."

Canby wouldn't recover in that set, and Lake Oswego would close out the set 25-18.

The fourth set brought more of the same. Canby would take an early lead, moving out to 5-4, but Lake Oswego would quickly reassert themselves, moving out to an 11-7 lead. Canby would try to get back in the thick of things, but the Lakers defensive front made things tough, getting three blocks in a row at one point, boosting their confidence.

"I thought we had really good energy throughout the whole match," Treske said. "The past few matches we've been having lows, and I think we had a good energy the whole time."

Lake Oswego got a side out at 17-10, and go on a 6-1 run against a bamboozled Canby, highlighted by a collision between Kayser and McClellan. Lake Oswego would close out the fourth 25-13.

The fifth set was the nail in the coffin, as Lake Oswego would go on an eight point run to bring the score to 14-6 in their favor. The game point was staved off by an Audra Wilmes save, which forced the Lake Oswego faithful from rushing the court, but two plays later the Lakers would seal the deal, winning the final set 15-8.

Coming out of the game, the Canby coaching staff were able to see the growing pains that this young team was still going through.

"(I saw) youth and inexperience, and not knowing when the going gets tough, how to rise up to it," Canby head coach TJ Schlatter said after the game. "They all get really frustrated with themselves because they want to do so well, and they don't know quite how to handle it and they shut down. We have to do this as a team, and when they shut down, we're not doing it as a team and that's what happens."

Canby will look to shake off this two game slump in tournament play against Oregon City this Saturday at 8am. Lake Oswego will look to build on their momentum this Saturday as well, against an opponent to be determined.

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