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The Pacers open postseason play with a 6:30 p.m. Wednesday match at Wilson High School

PMG PHOTO: JIM BESEDA - The Lakeridge volleyball team rallies together during its Senior Night home loss to Oregon City on Thursday, Oct. 24.The regular season may be over, but the real fun is just beginning for the Lakeridge volleyball team.

The Pacers just completed their 2019 Three Rivers League season with a 25-13, 25-9, 25-17 loss to Oregon City on Thursday, Oct. 24, at Lakeridge High School.

Now, Lakeridge is setting its sights on the second season, opening the Class 6A state playoffs with a 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, match at Wilson. With a win there, the Pacers would advance to play on the road at either Mountain View or West Linn in the second round on Saturday, Nov. 2.

"After the match, I said to the girls, 'Our next season starts tomorrow, so everyone come into the gym ready to go,'" Pacers coach Wendy Stammer said. "We have really had moments of greatness this year. Looking at our overall record, our only losses have been to league opponents, so we know how to compete."

With the loss to the ninth-ranked Pioneers, the No. 21 Pacers finished TRL play in sixth place at 4-10 and fell to 16-12 overall. No. 12 Wilson, the Portland Interscholastic League champion, carries a 22-4 overall record after going 16-0 in the PIL. Oregon City, meanwhile, finished tied for second in the TRL at 11-3 and carries a 19-6 overall mark. The Pioneers host No. 24 West Salem (11-11 overall) in their 6:30 p.m. Wednesday playoff opener.

"Oregon City is a solid team," Stammer said. "They are going to do well in the playoffs and I wish them well because they're such a good team."

Lakeridge paid tribute to the team's six seniors before Thursday's match in an emotional pregame ceremony that left some of the Pacers with tears in their eyes to start the first set.

They also had to deal with talented Oregon City, which dominated all three sets, using a 10-1 run to close out the first set, a 12-3 run to cap the second, and a 10-7 run to put away the third set and the match.

"I know that we were super-emotional before the match because it's Senior Night and I love to see my girls so emotional in one sense, in that they really enjoyed their time here," Stammer said. "That's really important to me. But it's hard to play right after that, too.

"We didn't play our best. We actually did some really good things during the match, and I kept looking at the score thinking, 'That score does not reflect how we're playing.' It seemed like the games were a lot closer than what the score was saying."

Oregon City setter Anessa Chirgwin sparked the offense with 35 assists, and outside hitters Alison Brown and Madison Hornback had a combined 27 kills for the Pioneers. OC's Abby Bareksten came through with a team-high 10 digs, Kailee Weaver had five kills and two service aces, and Emma Pruitt added four kills, seven blocks and two aces.

Kendall Baldwin led Lakeridge with five kills, and Kally Lewis added four kills and two blocks.

"We couldn't put the block up that we needed against them tonight," Stammer said. "Our hitting was pretty solid, but we got into trouble on the block and on defense, and that's what good hitters do to you, right?"


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