The Cougars volleyball team defeated the Pacers three sets to two in a back and forth contest.

HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Sophomore Ruby Kayser serves the ball to the Pacers. The Cougars defeated the Pacers three sets to two on Thursday, Sept. 28.

It was a wild ride for the Canby Cougars volleyball team in their first league appearance since dropping two straight games to West Linn and Lake Oswego. They hosted the Lakeridge Pacers on Tuesday, Sept. 26 and won a closely contested game three sets to two, with scores of 16-25, 27-25, 25-20, 14-25, and 15-6.

It wasn't easy, and it wasn't perfect, but Canby came out and got it done. The first set of the game was a tough one for Canby. Lakeridge took control of the leaderboard early and was loathe to relinquish it. Canby would get tie the set at one point 8-8, but the Pacers would take off again, winning the first set 16-25.

The second set was arguably the most exciting of the game. Canby would establish an early lead, jumping out six points to three, but Lakeridge fought back. The game had several ties between six all and 17 all, with the Pacers edging one point ahead and Canby getting even. In the latter stages of the set, Canby was down 18-23 at one point, but would not give in. They scored four straight points, and avoided to separate Lakeridge set points on the strength of two freshman Daley McClellan blocks. It was 25-25, and Canby would score the final two points of the set, and end the back and forth action 27-25.

Afterwards, Canby's coach TJ Schlatter was very proud of her team and the way they overcame adversity in the second half.

"This is what happens when they fight," Schlatter said. "We knew (Lakeridge) was going to be a tough team when we played them the first time. I'm happy we got the win."

The third set was also a tough battle for the Cougars, but they persevered and claimed the set 25-20. Canby faltered in the fourth set, losing 25-14, but would right ship in the fifth and final set, dominating to win by a margin of 15-6.

This marks the second time the Cougars have defeated the Pacers this season. Canby shut Lakeridge out three sets to none in the opening match of the season.

Canby's senior Sam Fossati had 14 kills on the night, freshman Daley McClellan had 16 kills, and freshman Audra Wilmes had 11 kills.

Canby would go on to defeat Newberg three sets to zero (25-23, 25-22, 25-15) on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 6:30

Next week the Canby Cougars (7-2 in league, 11-3 overall) play two road games against Tigard (4-4 in league, 5-7 overall) and Tualatin (5-4 in league, 9-6 overall) on Oct. 2 and Oct. 5 respectively.

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