The Cougars dominated their opponents, overwhelming Parkrose 3-0 in volleyball, St. Helens 2-0 in girls soccer.

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Canby libero Jenna Schmidt was a big part of the Cougars 3-0 win over visitin Parkrose on Tuesday, Sept. 6 thanks in part to her serving.

Canby volleyball downs Parkrose 3-0

The Cougars picked up their second league win at home against visiting Parkrose 3-0 (25-7, 25-10, 25-13) on Tuesday, Sept. 6. It was a largely one-sided affair, with Canby taking advantage of Parkrose miscues to cruise to an easy victory.

The win was also a place for the Cougars to showcase where their strengths lie when the team is firing at optimal efficiency. When the team served well, as was exemplified against Parkrose by senior Chloe Annas and libero Jenna Schmidt, it forced the Broncos to respond in ways that did their offense no favors.

Meanwhile Canby's offense was humming thanks to the efforts of senior setter Natalie Just and outside hitter RayAnne Schedler.

It was a near-perfect night for the Cougars, apart from the sweltering heat of the home gym. But head coach Terri Jo Schlatter believes her team has what it takes to hang with any opponent in the Northwest Oregon Conference (NWOC), including perennial conference title favorites Wilsonville and La Salle Prep. The Cougars lost a five set match against La Salle Prep, and followed up the drubbing of Parkrose with a four set loss to Wilsonville, but neither of Canby's losses were lopsided.

"We went five with La Salle, Wilsonville is very good, and from what I've seen in the league, Putnam is the next one that is very good, that we have to look out for," Schlatter said. "But they're beatable."

Beyond finishing top three in the NWOC, Schlatter believes it's realistic that Canby will win in the first round of the playoffs. It will just take consistently performing against the best at 5A.

After suffering their second defeat to Wilsonville, Canby put together a pair of wins against Hillsboro 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-11) on Sept. 8 and defeated Lebanon 2-1 (25-17, 12-25, 15-9) at the Southridge Tournament at Southridge High School. Canby's (6-2) next contest comes on Tuesday, Sept. 12 against Milwaukie/Milwaukie Academy of the Arts (0-4).

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Canby sophomore McKenzie Bigej takes a shot on goal that would ricochet and be put away by teammate Sydney Matlock.

Canby girls soccer earns first win with two goals over St. Helens

After getting shutout in the season opener against Southridge on Aug. 30, it was clear there were still some lessons the Canby girls soccer team needed to learn. According to Canby head coach Dallas Hill, that was a lesson in playing on the front foot.

"I think coming into St. Helens, our goal was to improve our mentality," Hill said. "How do we respond to a team coming at us? I think Southridge really came at us, and I think that was a test for us. But with this game, we focused a lot on shooting, shots on goal, following shots on goal, and how do we attack. I think in Southridge, we were on our heels a lot … they were coming at us, and we didn't get a chance to practice that."

Against visiting St. Helens on Sept. 6, the Cougars made it a point to be the aggressors on the pitch. The result was a resounding 2-0 victory over the Lions to improve Canby's record to 1-1 on the season.

The Cougars got the scoring started in the first half thanks to an Ava Schreffler-assisted Kendel Johnson goal. In the second half Canby sophomore McKenzie Bigej sent a shot off the near post for junior Sydney Matlock to punch home to give the home side a 2-0 lead. The lead could have been bigger, according to Hill.

"It's just building on their confidence, their shots, following on their shots and being relentless on the attack which they did today," Hill said. "We still have some stuff to work on with shots on goal, I think we could have scored more goals, but I'm happy with the result, they're happy with the result, they played really well today."

One tactical change Hill and her coaching staff made that helped boost the confidence of her team's attack was to move senior Ally Mead from center back up to forward again, while dropping Sadie Schweitzer to hold the defense together. According to Hill, various members of the team stepped up after being put in different and sometimes new positions.

Canby will have a chance to build on the win over St. Helens and will have had plenty of rest between contests. Twelve days after its win, Canby will face off against Nelson (0-2-1) at Nelson High School on Sept. 14. The matchup represents another opportunity to be on the attack, facing a Hawks squad that gave up seven goals in its first three games.

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