Volleyball: Putnam takes down Milwaukie in straight sets
Chalk up another volleyball win for the Putnam Kingsmen in their Northwest Oregon Conference rivalry series with the Milwaukie Mustangs.
Putnam's Tiffany Bartholomew, Kiana Robertson, and Matumaiva Taale were a force at the net and libero Bella Baragona anchored a solid back-row effort, leading the Kingsmen to a 25-10, 25-10, 25-18 Northwest Oregon Conference victory Tuesday at Milwaukie High School.
Finley Dilbert-Burgwin and Reagan Larson both came off the Putnam bench to help give the Kingsmen a little something extra
"When we push really hard, we get where we want to go," said Robertson, the Kingsmen's senior middle blocker. "In the third set, the ball got away from us a little bit, but in the end, we pulled it together and did what we needed to do to finish it.
"Milwaukie is really scrappy, so they get up a lot of balls. That makes it really difficult to read the blocks or read the hits, but our defense stepped up and it worked out for us."
With the win, the Kingsmen improved to 2-0 on the season and ran their winning streak in the series with the Mustangs to seven matches.
"It was a good showing," Putnam coach Amanda Wiedeman said. "We got everyone in and we have a lot more depth than we've had in the past, so that's really exciting.
"Milwaukie is unpredictable and it's hard to play a team when you can't predict what they're going to do. Those are probably some of the most difficult teams to play, but I felt we were responded pretty well to that. Anything they threw at us, we were able to pick up."
Baragona, the Kingsmen's senior libero, opened the match with three consecutive service aces, touching off an 11-3 run that set the tone in the first set.
In the second set, Putnam went on an 11-3 run that ended with a Robertson kill that gave the Kingsmen a 17-7 lead. Larson added a service ace that made it 24-10 and Dilbert-Burgwin had a kill to close out the set.
Milwaukie's Kristy Castillo had a service ace that kept the Mustangs within striking distance at 10-8 in the third set, and then Putnam went on a 7-2 burst to open a 17-10 lead.
At 23-18, a Mustangs' service error handed the ball back to Putnam, and with Baragona serving, Taale drilled a shot that glanced off two Milwaukie blockers and sailed out of bounds to finish off the match.
"That was really awesome," Taale said. "Milwaukie started to place the ball and that kind of got to us a little bit, but I was really proud of my team and the way everyone played today."
First-year Milwaukie coach Carol York was encouraged by some of the things she saw from the Mustangs (0-2).
"We made some simple mistakes that we need to correct," York said. "Other than that, I thought we had some really fantastic serve-receive passing, we had some good hits, and we had some good serves, but there are things we still need to shore up a little bit."
Milwaukie's Kora Botta, Ellie Brown, Cassidy Galyon, and Jennessa Jackson had their moments for the Mustangs, who struggled to sustain runs of more than two or three points at a time.
"We're going to work on a few things, like receiving deep serves and how to back up and get to some of those," York said. "We just need to be a little more mindful, but we're getting there."
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