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The Cavaliers beat David Douglas 3-0 on Wednesday, improving to 5-1 in league play.

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Clackamas senior libero Kylie Hegar leaps to make a jump serve during her team's 3-0 win over David Douglas on Wednesday, March 17, at Clackamas High School.So far, the Clackamas volleyball team has been making the most of its pandemic-shortened 2021 season.

The Cavaliers opened Mt. Hood Conference play with a stellar 5-1 record, the latest notch in their belt a 25-6, 25-14, 25-18 sweep of David Douglas at Clackamas High School on Wednesday, March 17.

"Some of us have played together in the past and so that helps," said Clackamas sophomore outside hitter Kalista Lukovich, who led her team in hitting against the Scots. "I think it's a really good match with all of us together."

"We're all confident in each other. We all know what each other can do," said senior setter Kanoe Shadron. "We know we can come out here and win if we have the mindset to do it."

With the win — Clackamas' fourth straight — the Cavaliers improved to 5-1 in MHC play and 5-1 overall. David Douglas, meanwhile, lost for the fourth straight time and fell to 1-5 in league play and overall.

Despite that, the Scots were proud of the fight they put up in the second and third sets.

"Our team is really known for getting our spirits back up," said David Douglas junior middle blocker Alex Mann, who led her team in hitting Wednesday. "Once we've been knocked down a couple of times, we've always been known to get our spirits up even if we don't win. We're still winning in a sense that we're together as a team and we're playing well."

Beyond that, David Douglas' players were glad to have another day together on the court in competition.

"We hadn't played together in nine months, and then we're just able to hop back into it and still have so much fun and do good and play games," said junior setter Alexis Tomey.

Clackamas def. David Douglas 3-0

The Cavaliers started fast in the first set, breaking open a 2-2 tie with a nine-point service run by junior Leah Agost that included three aces, and two kills each by Lukovich and sophomore Halsey Brummitt.

Clackamas kept rolling, too, extending its lead to 21-4 on a crosscourt kill by Lukovich, then ending the set on an ace by sophomore Zoe Szczesniak.

David Douglas shook off its slow start and showed some fight in the second set, managing to stay within 14-10 at the midway point thanks to kills from junior Tara Whitlow and Mann, a block by sophomore Ava Piper and a three-point run served by Tomey.

But Clackamas rallied with an 11-4 edge down the stretch powered by Lukovich's five kills (two on tips), one kill each from Agost, sophomore Maddy Abraham and Brummitt and two aces by Szczesniak.

The third set looked like it would be a mirror image of the first, with the Cavaliers racing out to a 10-1 lead, then expanding that edge to 18-3 with Shadron setting the table for Agost, Brummitt and Lukovich.

But David Douglas wasn't done yet. The Scots responded with their best stretch of the match, putting together a 12-3 run to close within 21-15. Tomey served her team through the final six points of that run, getting an ace along the way while also seeing her team tip effectively.

"I just kept on thinking 'OK. I'm gonna make this (next serve) and it doesn't have to be super great. Just make it in,'" Tomey said, "because the rotation was obviously not working for them."

But Clackamas wasn't going to let this one get away.

Agost got a tip to win a sideout, Abraham connected on a free ball, Brummitt notched a kill off the block and then ended the game when she took a Shadron set and scored from the middle of the net.

"It's all about the mindset," Lukovich said. "We all have the skill, but we have to be able to push ourselves to get there and to stay above."

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