Crook County takes control early and never looks back en route to victory in Intermountain Hybrid opener

It took a little time for the Cowgirls to get going, but the outcome was never in doubt as Crook County rolled past the Mountain View Cougars in the Intermountain Hybrid volleyball opener for both teams.

In a match that wasn’t as close as the final score, the host Cowgirls cruised to a straight set 25-17, 25-8, 25-19 LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Kathryn Kaonis pounds the ball over the block of two Mountain View Cougar defenders during the Cowgirls three-set victory over the Cougars. Kaonis finished the match with 11 kills in 22 attempts.

“Our freshmen are stepping up... they are just growing in leaps and bounds,” said Crook County Head Coach Rosie Honl following the contest.

Mountain View took a 2-0 lead in the opening set of the match. It didn’t take long for the Cowgirls to come roaring back, as they took control of the set, scoring 10 of the next 12 points.

Hannah Troutman scored the final three points of the set with a kill and a pair of aces.

The Cougars took a brief lead again in set two before the Cowgirls scored six consecutive points to roll out to a 9-3 lead. From there, it was all Crook County as the Cowgirls took advantage of a series of Cougar errors to cruise to the easy victory.

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Jennifer Roth goes up for a hit against Mountain View on Tuesday. Roth had just one kill on the night, but was 17-19 from the service line with six aces.The third set looked like it was going to be even easier for the Cowgirls after Crook County jumped out to a 5-0 lead behind the serving of Jennifer Roth, who served four aces to start the match.

The Cowgirls led 20-11 and appeared to be ready to close out the match when the Cougar’s Jill Roshak went on a tear. Roshak blasted a kill past the Crook County defense, then served eight consecutive serves as Mountain View clawed back into the game. Mountain View closed to within a point at 20-19.

However, the Cowgirls called time out, regrouped, and the Cougars never scored again as the Cowgirls scored five consecutive points to close out the match.

Troutman had a block and a kill down the stretch, while Kathryn Kaonis added a pair of kills, the final one coming on a tip over a pair of Mountain View blockers.

“For the first time, she tipped instead of blasting everything and she was really excited about that,” Honl said about the play of Kaonis in the match. “It’s fun to get a tip kill and I think she’s realizing that.”

Troutman and Karlee Hollis finished with 11 kills each in the match, while Kaonis added 10 kills of her own.

“It feels really good,” Kaonis said following the match. “I had to learn to be smart. The team is making a lot of progress. We are playing way faster and it keeps up your energy.”

Roth went 17-19 from the service line on the night with six aces. Hollis also had a solid serving night, going 12-14 with a pair of aces. In addition to her 11 kills, Troutman also led the Cowgirls in digs with 15 and was a perfect 9-9 from the service line with three aces. Aspen Christiansen added 10 digs, while Abby Smith finished with 18 assists and Kayla Hamilton added 15 assists and was a perfect 10-10 from the service line.

With the win, the Cowgirls are a perfect 6-0 on the year, while the Cougars fell to 2-5 on the year. Crook County is back in action Saturday when they travel south to compete in the Rogue Valley Invitational. The Cowgirls return home on Tuesday to host the Bend Lava Bears in a 6:30 p.m. contest.

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