The Wildcats showcase their ability to regain leads in a hurry in their four-set win over Sandy.

by: JEFF GOODMAN - Rebecca Wenz (12) follows through on a hit at home Sept. 26. She and the Wilsonville volleyball team defeated Sandy in four sets.It’s exciting for the members of the Wilsonville volleyball team when they’re able to engineer a run and come from behind to win a set. It’s not so enjoyable for coach Kristen Rott.

“The girls tend to take pride in the whole comeback-’Cats thing,” Rott said. “It’s quite annoying as a coach — I would rather you just be aggressive and assertive from the get-go. But they’ve rallied around that comeback-’Cats (mentality), and if it works for them then we’ll take it as far as we can.”

The Wildcats took it for a 3-1 (25-15, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23) victory over Sandy at home Sept. 26, where they used several impressive surges to eke out narrow set victories.

Wilsonville (8-2, 5-1 in the Northwest Oregon Conference) never trailed in an opening frame that featured six ties. After Sandy junior outside hitter Alex Ford made it 11-11 on a tip kill, the Wildcats engineered a 14-4 surge to run away with a 25-15 victory.

The spurt began with a 6-0 run that featured a kill by Lexy Thompson, an ace by Skyler Matthews, a well-placed shot by Rebecca Wenz, a crosscourt kill by Hailey Hayes and a block by Genna Florig. The frame ended with a five-point blitz for the Wildcats.

Sandy seemed to find a groove in the second set and prevailed, 25-21, to tie the match at 1-1. Wilsonville took an early 3-2 lead in the frame, but the Pioneers regained the edge at 4-3 on an ace by junior middle blocker Bekah Mather and never trailed the rest of the way.

“If we cut down our errors and take care of the ball, we’re a phenomenal team,” Rott said. “But when the girls have mental lapses, these are the games we have.”

After a 12-5 run by the Wildcats, Sandy broke the 18-18 tie by stringing together five points in a row and snatched a 23-18 lead on Ford’s ace. The Pioneers, who logged five aces in the frame, earned their final two points of the game on a kill by senior middle blocker Jenny Covington and a Wilsonville error.

“It was a little bit of a scare when they won,” Matthews said. “We knew we’d have to fight back.”

The Wildcats actually fell behind 5-4 early in the third set, but they regained the edge at 6-5 on a block by Florig and never trailed after that. They broke a 13-13 tie with a six-point surge capped by Florig’s powerful spike and held on for a 25-20 set victory and a 2-1 edge in the match.

Still, it appeared as though Wilsonville was headed for a fifth set after falling behind 15-8 in the fourth frame on a kill by Mather.

But the Wildcats used an 11-4 spurt to tie the frame at 19-19, took a 21-19 edge on two errors by the Pioneers and eked out a 25-23 win to end the match. Florig and Thompson logged Wilsonville’s last two points.

“We were a little jittery still,” Florig said. “We didn’t play to our potential, and we didn’t handle the ball very well. But we pulled it through.”



Wilsonville 3, Sandy 1

Sept. 26 at Wilsonville High School

            1          2          3          4          F

Sandy  15        25        20        23        1

WHS   25        21        25        25        3

Kills — Sandy: Alex Ford 8, Bekah Mather 6, Jenny Covington 5, Kayla Anderson 3; Wilsonville: Genna Florig 12, Rebecca Wenz 9, Lexy Thompson 7, Hailey Hayes 6, Madi Wardle 6, Kyra Austin 2, Hailey Kinman 1.

Aces — Sandy: Ford 3, Mather 3, Anderson 1, Jordan Hall 1, Ashley Laughlin 1; Wilsonville: Skyler Matthews 3, Wenz 2, Florig 2, Wardle 1, Bianca Schmitt 1, Austin 1.

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