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Indians had momentary struggle with Estacada, but rallied nicely to push conference mark to 8-0

The Molalla volleyball team ran its conference record to 8-0 Oct. 12 with a four-set win over Estacada, 25-23, 19-25, 25-14, and 25-11.

The Rangers came ready to play and Molalla struggled to get its game going, coach Lauree Nelzen said.

COURTESY PHOTO: FLETCHER WOLD - The Molalla volleyball team is getting good performances from all over its lineup as it continues to lead the conference race.

"Learning to be focused and prepared for every game no matter who is on the other side of the net is still a work in progress for us," Nelzen explained. "After losing the second set, the girls had to do a hard reset of their mental game, and get back to Molalla volleyball, which is lots of energy, lots of fun, and lots of working together."

With the mental reset engaged, Molalla rolled through the third and fourth sets to grab hold of the win. The Indians served at an 88% clip during the match, which Nelzen said "overall isn't bad. It was the timing of our missed serves that hurt us - after a timeout and on set point."

Junior Avery Guijosa served solidly on the night, having only one error in 33 serves, with five service aces.

"She really placed the ball extremely well, especially down the stretch," Nelzen said. "The third and fourth sets we finished much better, really did a good job of making Estacada earn their points by putting the ball back over and playing tough defense."

Molalla 3, Gladstone 1

The Molalla volleyball train just keeps rolling.

The Indians lost the first set to Gladstone Oct. 14, but rallied to post a 3-1 win and move to 9-0 in league play.

"We lost the first set 24-26, again struggling to get going and there wasn't very much 'urgency' to our game," Nelzen said. "We rallied and came back to win the next three sets. Our net play was great last night, we got a number of key blocks, the biggest being senior Taylor Lishka getting a solo block on match point in set four."

Seniors Olivia Lewis and Lainie Mead both hit .278%, with six kills each. The team hit .154%.

"Once we regained our energy and focus, it was a much better match for us,," Nelzen said. "We served 85% as a team, which is still low for us. We are taking more risks with our serves, jump serves and such, so I think that's why our numbers are a little low. Trying to serve tough, especially down the stretch when we have a little cushion of a lead. I'm very proud of this team, they never quit, even when we are struggling. They work together and keep the goal in front of them, with everyone contributing, from the kids on the floor to those on the bench."

North Marion comes to town Monday is a battle for the league title. The Indians are 9-0 and North Marion is 7-1 with its only loss to the Indians on Sept. 30. It's also senior night for Molalla.

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