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Crook County High School playing as Rimrock Central Volleyball Club this fall

LON AUSTIN - Libero Kacie Stafford gets a dig while Josie Kasberger stands ready.

With COVID regulations, the Crook County volleyball program had a choice to make this fall.

They could either play OSAA-sanctioned matches, but only play schools that were also engaged in face-to-face learning, or they could abandon the OSAA season and play club volleyball, enabling them to play against more teams, but unable to play OSAA-sponsored games.

With most of the Central Oregon schools not engaged in face-to-face learning yet, all Central Oregon volleyball matches played during the OSAA season 1 are being played in the Crook County high school and middle school gyms.

Crook County opted to play club volleyball during the OSAA season 1. So, instead of playing as the Cowgirls, the team is representing Rimrock Central Volleyball Club.

Tuesday, Nov. 3, Rimrock opened their season against Oregon Volleyball Club, a team composed of players from Sisters High School.

Due to COVID precautions, no spectators are being allowed into the gyms, and no officials are being used.

"It's just nice to not play the same people over and over again," head coach Kristy Struck said. "It's also nice for the girls to not practice anymore. As much as this was a scrimmage, it's nice for the girls to get out in a game situation where it's more invested then just where it's more invested than scrimmaging your own people."

Rimrock was in the match from the start but was unable to maintain the momentum as they fell 25-22, 25-23, 25-23 to OVA. The two teams then played an additional set with OVA taking a 25-14 win.

Josie Kasberger finished the match with nine kills, while Kendall Maycutt had seven, and McKenzie Jonas 5. Jonas also had two blocks in the match. Kacie Stafford led the team with 26 digs, while Jenny McKinnon finished with 16 assists.

On Thursday, Rimrock was on the court again, taking on a team from Juniper Volleyball Club of Redmond. Rimrock dropped the first set 25-19, then rebounded to win the remaining sets.

Maycutt led the team in kills with 12, while Kasberger finished with six, and Liz Barker added 5. Kasberger and Stafford each had 13 digs, while McKinnon finished with 21 assists while going 17 for 18 from the service line with seven aces.

Kasberger also had a good night from the service line, going 20 for 20 with five aces.

Rimrock then capped off a busy week, knocking off a team from Vale 25-9, 25-7, 25-23, 25-16, 25-19.

Maycutt once again led Rimrock in kills with 18, while Jonas finished with 12, Barker with 10, and Kasberger added eight.

Stafford finished with 39 digs in the match, while Jonas and Kasberger each added 11.

McKinnon was especially strong from the service line, going 38 for 40 with eight aces. Alexys Wells was a perfect 13 for 13 serving, while Stafford was 15 for 16. McKinnon also had 29 assists in the match.

"I think that when you just practice all the time and you never get to play, there is some complacency about the things you do, but when you come out and you play against a good team like OVC, then you have an opportunity to see the things that you really aren't doing well, so coming back into practice, they will be much more mindful knowing where they stand with other teams around the area," Struck said following their first match.

Struck also noted that the team played better as the week progressed, especially when it came to their hitting.

Rimrock is back in action today when they host OVC.

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