Cougars win at Lake Oswego in five game thriller
LAKE OSWEGO — Daley McClellan had 32 kills last Tuesday night at Lake Oswego.
Canby needed every single one of them as the Cougars opened Three Rivers League play with a thrilling 3-2 victory.
"She's amazing," Canby coach T.J. Schlatter said of McClellan. "We rely on her so much. We have to figure out how to rely on the other pieces and take the pressure off of her. They (Lake Oswego) were double and triple blocking her at one time. They did a good job of keying on her."
After holding on to win game three 25-23 and take a 2-1 lead, the Cougars appeared to grab control of the match.
Canby even jumped out to an 8-2 lead in game four, but the Lakers roared back to win 27-25 to force a fifth set.
"We have to rely a lot on our serve and pass game and we started to lose it a little bit in game four," Canby senior Ruby Kayser said. "Keeping our serving and passing and defense is our biggest ally, so when that starts to fall, everything else starts to fall."
The Cougars regrouped to win game five 15-13.
"I'm just really proud of our team for finishing," said Kayser, who had 24 assists, three aces and four kills in the victory. "It's really hard to get there, but to actually finish is so much harder. Those last two points, 14 and 15, that's why we play volleyball. I'm really excited that we got to battle it out tonight and I'm really proud of my teammates."
The Cougars had more students at the game than Lake Oswego, which is common for Canby road games.
"That's what we love so much about our community," Kayser said. "Last year, we had a huge student section at the away games and it helps a lot because it intimidates the girls that our on their home turf and it feels like it's our home turf."
Canby junior Caitlin Gay added 12 kills, six aces, five assists and five digs.
"It shows good character because they could have easily given up and quit," Schlatter said of her team. "They're fighters and they found a way, even when it got hard and they started fragmenting, they came back together. I was really proud of them."
Canby lost both of its matches to Lake Oswego last season, falling 3-1 and 3-0.
"It's always a big matchup," Kayser said. "It's a game we look forward to every year and we know it's going to be a hard fought battle every time, no matter where we are in the league standings. We know that both teams are going to come out and play hard."
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