Crook County overcomes huge deficits to take straight-set victory from Mountain View

In the record books, Tuesday night’s match between the Crook County Cowgirls and the Mountain View Cougars will look like a blowout. by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Jennifer McCallister goes up for her lone kill in the Cowgirls three-set victory over the Mountain View Cougars on Tuesday.

Although the Cowgirls did earn a three-set 25-21, 25-14, 25-23 victory, the match was anything but easy.

“I’m thrilled that they pulled it out,” said Crook County Head Coach Rosie Honl following the match. “It helps the younger kids to learn to play under pressure.”

The Cougars could do nothing wrong early in the first set, and quickly jumped out to a 12-2 lead. Crook County slowly dug out of the early hole, and finally evened the match at 15-15 on a kill by Kathryn Kaonis. Crook County finally took their first lead of the set at 20-19, then held on to escape with the win.

“They started passing and serving,” Honl said. “When those two things come around, they can do everything else. And it was our non-big hitters that took care of us. That’s a huge thing.”

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Crook County setter Abby Smith finished with 15 assista against Mountain View. The Cowgirls other setter, Kayla Hamilton had 22 assists.“It was sketchy at first,” said freshman setter Abby Smith. “But we realized what we were doing wrong and came back and won.”

Mountain View jumped out to a 2-0 lead to start the second set. However, the Cowgirls quickly rebounded and rolled to an easy win in the set. When Crook County took a 1-0 lead at the start of the third set, it looked like the match would quickly be over.

However, the Cougars refused to go away quietly. The two teams were tied 7-7 before the Cougars went on a tear. Mountain View scored 11 of the next 15 points as they opened up an 18-11 lead. Nevertheless, the Cowgirls found a way to get back into the set. Led by three kills and a block by Hannah Troutman, the Cowgirls scored the next seven points to tie the set at 18 apiece.

Mountain View regained their composure and retook the lead. The Cougars led 23-22 before the Cowgirls were able to score the final four points of the set to close out the match.

“I’m so happy that we were able to dig out of that hole,” said freshman rightside hitter Jennifer McCallister.

Troutman led the Cowgirls with 16 kills and 16 digs. The senior outside hitter was also 18-20 from the service line with four aces. Karlee Hollis added eight kills and was 11-12 from the service line with three aces, while Kaonis finished with seven kills.

Samantha Kaonis also had a strong offensive match, finishing with six kills.

Aspen Christiansen led the team in digs with 23 and was a perfect 14-14 from the service line, while setters Kayla Hamilton and Smith finished with 22 and 15 assists respectively.

Mountain View was led by Jill Roshack with 11 kills.

The win raised the Cowgirls record to 16-3 overall and 5-1 in the Intermountain Hybrid League. With the loss, the Cougars fell to 8-10 and 1-5 in the Intermountain Hybrid League.

Crook County hosted Summit on Thursday. The Cowgirls are back in action on Saturday when they travel to Bend for the Clearwater Classic. The 24-team tournament, which features most of the top Class 5A and 6A teams in the state, begins at 8 a.m. Crook County will play their pool matches at Mountain View High School. Matches are also taking place at Bend and Summit high schools.

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