Cowgirls win opening set of the match before dropping next three sets to the Bulldogs

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Raegan Wilkins goes up for one of her 18 kills in the Cowgirls loss to the West Albany Bulldogs Friday morning in the state volleyball quarterfinals.The Crook County Cowgirls struggled with consistency on Friday as they fell to the West Albany Bulldogs in the OSAA State Volleyball Championship quarterfinals.

The Cowgirls came out strong, winning the first set of the match, which was played at Liberty High School in Hillsboro.

However, the Cowgirls stumbled in the second set and never recovered as the Bulldogs won three consecutive sets to take a 22-25, 25-17, 25-16, 25-20 victory over Crook County.

The Cowgirls will play Crater Saturday morning at 8 a.m., while the Bulldogs lost to the Ridgeview Ravens Friday night in the tournament semifinals and will face Dallas at noon in the third-place match.

Ridgeview will face No. 1 ranked Corvallis in the tournament championship at 6:30 p.m. Saturday night.

The Cowgirls fell behind early in the opening set, trailing 8-2 before staging a rally. The Cowgirls tied the set at 11-11 on an ace by Anna Woodward. Crook County finally took the lead for good on a Kendall Maykut kill that made the score 18-17. Crook County finally put the set away on a Raegan Wilkins kill.

The Cowgirls fell behind again in the second set, but this time they were unable to recover. Crook County trailed 22-11 before closing the gap late in the set. The third set was more of the same as Crook County fell behind early, then made a late rally.

The Cowgirls came out strong in the fourth set, opening a 5-2 lead. The Cowgirls still led 15-14 before West Albany was able to regain control of the match. The Bulldogs steadily pulled away at the end to take the match and the set.

Mekynzie Wells and Kacie Stafford let the Cowgirl defensive effort with 29 and 19 digs respectively. Kerigan Waibel returned from a knee injury to play only in the back row, where she came away with 11 digs.

Wilkins led the Crook County offensive attack with 19 kills, while Kenna Woodward and Maykut each finished with seven kills and Lily Cooper added five.

Complete coverage of the entire state tournament will be in Tuesday's Central Oregonian.

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