Cowgirls escape


Playing on the road, Crook County needs five sets to defeat Ridgeview

“Whoa, that was a great win,” Crook County Head Volleyball Coach Rosie Honl said just minutes after her team had escaped from Ridgeview with a thrilling five-set LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - The Crook County Cowgirls celebrate a key kill late in the fifth set of the Cowgirls win over the Ridgeview Ravens Tuesday night.

“I’m so glad they pulled it off. This is the biggest adversary thing they’ve had.”

The match, which featured the No. 2-and 3-ranked teams in Class 4A, lived up to its hype. The two teams played four close sets before the Cowgirls were finally able to pull away late in the fifth set to claim a 25-21, 20-25, 25-18, 20-25, 15-9 victory.

“I think it was the adrenaline that kept us going,” said Crook County outside hitter Karlee Hollis following the match. “Everybody had faith in each other and nobody let anybody down.”

The first set of the match was tied 11 times before the Cowgirls were finally able to pull ahead and eke out the four-point win. Ridgeview broke out to a quick lead early in the second set. Crook County closed to within a point at 20-19, but Ridgeview held on to win the set and tie the match at a game LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Karlee Hollis drives the ball past Ridgeviews Chloe Ross and Rhian Sage for one of her 17 kills against the Ravens.

Set three was just as close as the two teams were once again tied 11 times. Crook County finally took the lead for good at 16-15 on a kill by Samantha Kaonis -- her lone kill of the night. From there, the Cowgirls steadily pulled away to take the set. Set four was tied 7-7 before the Ravens went on a mini-run, opening up a six-point lead. The Ravens held on to win the set and tie the match, setting up a fifth and final game to 15.

In the deciding set, Ridgeview opened up a 2-0 lead. However, the Cowgirls came roaring back to tie the match at 3-3. The two teams traded points until Crook County finally took the lead for good at 6-5 on a kill by Jennifer Roth. From there, Crook County slowly extended their lead. Hollis came up huge in the final set, blasting five kills and closing out the match with a pair of aces from the service line.

Hollis finished the night with 17 kills while going 16-19 from the service line with the two aces.

Seniors Kathryn Kaonis and Hannah Troutman were also solid in the match. Kaonis finished with 14 kills and a team-high three blocks. Troutman led both teams in kills with 22. Troutman added 24 digs while going 20-21 from the service line with three aces.

“We put our hearts out on the line,” Troutman said of the win. “We kept our heads up when we got down, especially when we lost those two sets and we worked our way back. Everybody stepped up tonight. It wasn’t a single person. Everybody was on their best game tonight.”

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Kathryn Kaonis tips the ball over the outstretched hand of Ridgeviews Shelby Abbas and Rhian Sage during Crook Countys five-set victory over the No. 4 ranked Ravens.As good as the upper classmen were, Honl was especially pleased with the performance of the teams’ freshmen.

“The crowd was screaming and our freshmen just stepped back there and did a real good job,” Honl said.

Freshman Aspen Christiansen finished with 33 digs to go along with 20-21 serving. Fellow freshman Abby Smith was 17-18 from the service line and finished with 31 assists.

Junior setter Kayla Hamilton added 26 assists and played outside hitter for a portion of the match, finishing with a pair of kills.

With the win the Cowgirls raised their record to 13-1. It was the first loss of the season for the Ravens, who fell to 12-1. The victory moved the Cowgirls back up to first place in the power rankings while the Ravens fell to fourth place.

Crook County played at Summit on Thursday. The team is on the road again on Saturday when they compete in the Mount Hood Tournament in Gresham.