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Crook County takes opening set, but is unable to keep momentum as Corvallis rallies to win in four sets

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Kenna Woodward plays a shot between a pair of Corvallis blockers during Crook County's quarterfinal loss to the Spartans. Woodward led the Cowgirls in kills with nine.The Crook County Cowgirls got off to a hot start Friday in their state quarterfinal match with the Corvallis Spartans.

However, after winning the first set 25-18 the Cowgirls were unable to keep the momentum as they fell 18-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-19 to the Spartans.

Corvallis advances to the semifinals where they will face Ridgeview Friday night, while the Cowgirls fall to the consolation round where they will face La Salle Prep at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

The Cowgirls had plenty of chances to win the match. The Cowgirls were firing on all cylinders in the opening set. An ace by Jenny McKinnon gave Crook County a 23-15 lead. After a Corvallis time out, McKinnon ripped a second ace to put the Cowgirls up by nine.

The Spartans tried to come back, but a Liz Barker kill put the Spartans away.

The Cowgirls started slowly in the second set, falling behind 11-2. A kill by Kenna Woodward started a Cowgirl Rally. However, the team was never able to get close as Corvallis evened up the match.

Crook County regrouped for the third set as the two teams slugged it out. When McKenzie Jonas picked up a kill the Cowgirls led 10-7.

However, Corvallis battled back. The Spartans took the lead for good at 13-12 on a kill by Zandra Johnson. The Spartans then rolled out to a 21-14 lead before Crook County staged a furious rally. Kills by Lily Cooper, Jonas and an ace by McKinnon closed the gap to 21-17. Kills by Barker and Woodward closed the gap even further to 23-24. However, the Cowgirls were unable to earn another point as Ryann Gregg closed out the set with a booming kill.

The Cowgirls took an early lead in the fourth set. However, it was short lived. A series of kills by Michaela Berning and Taylor Silbernagel built the Corvallis lead to 3-10. Then came perhaps the pivotal point in the match. The cowgirls finally got a stop and Stormie Camara came in to serve. Unfortunately, the cowgirls were ruled to be out of rotation and they lost the point they had just earned and Camara had to return to the bench.

Corvallis took advantage, running their lead up to double digits before Crook County once again staged a late rally. Kills by Woodward and Kendal Maycutt closed the Cowgirls to within six points at 24-18. An error by Corvallis made the score 24-19. However, on the final play of the match Woodward hit a shot that appeared to go off a blocker from Corvallis and out of bounds. However, the officials did not call a touch ruling the shot to be a hitting error, ending the set and the match.

Gregg led all hitters with 16 kills in the match, while Berning added 10 for the Spartans. Crook County was led by Woodward with 11 kills, while Cooper added seven and Jonas and Maycutt each had six kills with Barker finishing with five.

McKinnon finished with five aces in the match.

La Salle Prep and Crook County have met once this season, with the Cowgirls taking a 2-0 victory at a tournament in Barlow. La Salle Prep is currently 17-9, while the Cowgirls are 20-9.

The winner of Saturday morning's match will play the winner of Thurston versus North Eugene at 2:15 p.m. Saturday afternoon for fourth place in the tournament, while the loser's season will be over.

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