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Cowgirls allow just four points in final set of easy non-league victory at Madras

STEELE HAUGEN/MADRAS PIONEER - Jenny McKinnon sets the ball Tuesday night in the Cowgirls' victory over Madras. McKinnon finished with 14 sets on the night as the Cowgirls won 25-6, 25-12, 25-4 in the non-league match at Madras. The Cowgirls were on the road again on Thursday when they took on Marist and Hidden Valley. The Crook County Cowgirl volleyball team was in control from the outset as they rolled past the host Madras White Buffalos 25-6, 25-12, 25-4 Tuesday evening in Madras.

"It was a great night for us to work on some different things," Crook County head coach Kristy Struck said of the match. "It was a good day to work on speeding up our offense and the girls played great together as a team."

The final outcome was never in doubt from the opening serve as Crook County quickly rolled out to a big lead as they held the White Buffalos under 10 points in the opening set.

With Crook County playing their entire roster, the second set was a little closer. However, even then, there was no doubt who was the better team.

The Cowgirls corrected their errors before the third set as they steamrolled the White Buffalos to end the match.

As easy as the match was, Struck still noted that the team needs to cut down on some of their errors.

The Cowgirls finished with six service errors and nine hitting errors, leading to 15 of the White Buffalos' 22 points in the match.

However, even then, Struck said that some of those errors could be attributed to the team trying to run different things on offense than they have run so far this year.

Despite the errors, Crook County did much of the damage from the service line.

Kacie Stafford went 14-14 serving with three aces, while Syrie Ossenkop also had a perfect service night, going 11-11 with an ace.

As a team, the Cowgirls had eight aces.

Although the Cowgirl offense made some hitting errors, the team finished with 24 kills to just five for the White Buffalos.

Kenna Woodward led the Cowgirls in kills with eight, while Kendall Maycutt and Lily Cooper each finished with six.

 - Kenna Woodward goes up for one of her eight kills against the White Buffalos. The Cowgirls open their league season next Thursday at The Dalles. Starting setter Anna Woodward finished with 12 assists, while Jenny McKinnon came off the bench to set for approximately half of the match and finished with 14 assists.

With Madras struggling to hit the ball, the Cowgirls finished with just 16 digs as a team with Stafford picking up half of those.

With the win, Crook County improved to 2-0 on the year, while Madras dropped to 0-3.

The Cowgirls entered Tuesday night's match ranked second in the OSAA power rankings. However, they dropped to fourth following the win as the White Buffalos are just 20th in the Class 4A power rankings.

Crook County played a pair of matches at Marist Catholic on Thursday, taking on Hidden Valley and Marist Catholic. (The games were played after our deadline.) Both teams are traditional Class 4A powerhouses.

Marist Catholic has struggled to open the 2019 season, falling to both Sisters and Corbett, while Hidden Valley looks strong as usual.

The Mustangs have started the season 2-0 with wins over South Umpqua and Yreka, California.

Following Thursday's matches, the Cowgirls do not play again until Thursday, Sept. 19, when they go on the road to take on The Dalles Riverhawks in the Intermountain Conference opener.

The Dalles has started the season with a 3-1 record, with their only loss coming to No. 1 ranked South Albany. Game time is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Crook County will be on the road again on Saturday, the 21st when they travel to Medford for the Rogue Valley Classic.

The tournament features many of the top Class 5A and 6A schools in the state, so should be a real test for the team.

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