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NWAC VOLLEYBALL: Saints turn away their biggest challenger for a playoff spot

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Mt. Hoods Gabby Sanchez pops a set into the air in the front row during Fridays sweep over Chemeketa.

South Region

Team Score
Mt. Hood (25, 25, 25)
Chemeketa (17, 23, 12)

The Mt. Hood Community College volleyball team assured itself a place in the top half of the South Region standings with a sweep over Chemeketa on Friday night.

The Saints got off to an early start when Amaya Carter bumped a ball into the front row for setter Kaylynn Pickett, then moved toward an outer lane of the court to receive the ball back, taking the point with a tip shot into a wide-open hole on the left side.

Mt. Hood maintained the upper hand turning back Chemeketa four times before the Storm took its first lead at 13-12 on a kill by Hannah Arritola.

The Saints grabbed the advantage right back when Corbett graduate Zoe Chatterton pounded a kill between two Chemeketa blockers. The ball got stuck in the wedge of hands for a brief moment before trickling down on the Storm's side of the net.

Lea'a Puleiala converted a back-row kill, then put up a block on the left side to grow Mt. Hood's lead to 21-17.

The Saints closed in on set point when Pickett rushed from the far sideline into the center of the court to get a set into the air of Puleiala to send a winner down the line.

A pair of Chemeketa mistakes, a missed pass and an errant attack, gave Mt. Hood the first set 25-17.

The Saints faced their biggest challenge in the middle set after surrendering the first five points of the game.

An ace by Ilaisaane Penitoa gave Mt. Hood it's first lead at 10-9 only to see Chemeketa pull even late in the set. The next six points went to the Saints, three of them on kills by Chatterton, to grow a 22-16 lead.

The Storm would trim the gap to a single point on two occasions, but Puleiala came up with a kill on set point.

After trading points early in the third set, an ace by Puleiala doubled up Chemeketa 12-6 on the scoreboard.

It was never close the rest of the way with Puleiala ending the night with the last of her match-high 19 kills. Chatterton supplied 13 kills, as both of Mt. Hood's heavy hitters finished above 50% in attack rate. Katie Saephanh led the back line with 17 digs.

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This story is slated for our Tuesday, Nov. 5, print edition.

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