Chemeketa puts up little resistance during last weeks regular-season finale

by: SANDY POST: DAVID BALL - Mt. Hood setter Shea Lindsey celebrates a point during last weeks sweep over Chemeketa. TROUTDALE — The Mt. Hood CC volleyball team closed out Chemeketa in straight sets Wednesday to finish the regular season perfect in South Region play.

The Saints only challenge came in the third set where the lead changed hands five times. Mt. Hood seemed to grab control when Rachel Woodcock served up a five-point spurt that put the team up 13-8 at the end of the first rotation.

But the Storm rallied to tie the score in the late stages after Jordan Savage made a diving save along the 10-foot line and teammate Tess Schumacher delivered a kill. Chemeketa’s Deaven Vessell gave the Storm a brief 23-22 lead after banging a kill off the fingertips of two Saints blockers.

Mt. Hood would recover when Shawna Smith slid across her knees to make a dig out of the front row. Two attacks later, she found a hole in the center of Chemeketa’s side to win the point.

“We just wanted to win,” Smith said. “That’s is always on our mind and it shows how relentless we can be.”

Saints’ teammate Xayna Robinson followed with a slapper that dropped in an empty back row, and Mt. Hood ended the night on a penalty point when Chemeketa’s setter leaned into the net.

The Saints (34-6) have won 22 straight heading into next week’s Northwest championship tournament Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 21-24, at Mt. Hood CC.

“It’s nice to be undefeated in region, but we’re never satisfied,” Smith said. “We’re staying hungry for that championship.”

Smith led the attack Wednesday night with 12 kills and 10 digs, while Lihau Perreira finished with 10 kills and seven digs. Robinson and Devin Saucy added eight kills apiece.

Mt. Hood broke the first set open when Woodcock put together a four-point spurt during the middle stages. Perreira closed out the opener 25-18 when she came off the service line and took a big swing out of the back row.

The Saints dominated the second set, forcing first-serve side outs on 8 of 10 chances.

Ellie Drain served up a three-point burst to build an 18-10 lead — a rally that included a block by Saucy and a kill out of the middle by Robinson.

The Saints ended the middle set 25-12 when Smith made a dig out of the back row and quickly moved to the net for an attack that seemed to catch the Storm by surprise. Three Chemeketa players got a touch on the ball before it deflected into the net.

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