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Madras Lady Buffalo volleyball season ends, talented returners for next Madras volleyball season.

STEELE HAUGEN - Tegan Lantz, 3, and Madison Johnson, 4, block a kill by the Molalla Indians during the Lady Buffalos' last home game of the season. Lantz and Johnson will both return for Madras next season.The Madras volleyball season came to an end Oct. 23, with an overall record of 1-16, and 1-9 in the Tri-Valley conference.

Corbett (17-4) and North Marion (17-6) were the top two teams in the Tri-Valley conference this season.

The Lady Buffalos played Molalla Oct. 21, for their senior night game.

"We had a great, incredible group of seniors this year, " Madras head coach Natalie Villanueva said. "They really took what the coaching staff wanted to implement and they really took it to the rest of the program. They exemplified exactly what we were looking for. The girls were constantly doing the little things, which we talked about all season long."

"Things like showing up on time to set up the nets, making sure freshmen knew where to go on their first day of school, being available to teammates for questions," she said. "They really did every little thing that people don't and didn't see when it came to game time. That is what I appreciate the most about this class and group, is how this is their first year with a new head coach and they welcomed it. They took what we were saying and wanted to implement it immediately."

"They did such a great job of making that ripple down to the rest of our program," she said. "They will be missed. They were leaders for us and the program. I am sad to see them go, but know that they have left a mark on our program."

In the first set, the Buffalos were down 11-1 to the Molalla Indians and coach Natalie Villanueva called a timeout.

A few plays later, a kill by DaRia White cut the Molalla lead down to 17-8. A tip by Olivia Symons made the score 22-11 and the next play an ace by Raelee Simmons cut the lead down to 10.

Madras could not come back from their slow start and Molalla won the first set 25-14.

In the second set, the Lady Buffalos were able to take a 5-4 lead over the Indians. Molalla fought back, taking a 10-8 lead over Madras. The Indians scored four unanswered points and Madras called a timeout down 14-8.

Molalla kept things rolling and won the second set over Madras 25-10.

In the third set, White had a big spike, giving the Buffs a 5-4 lead, and a few plays later, a kill by Taylor Olson gave Madras a 7-6 lead.

Tegan Lantz got in on the action and her spike gave Madras a small 8-7 lead. Molalla went on a 17-4 run to end the third set and the Indians beat the White Buffalos in three sets, 25-14, 25-10, 25-12.

"We do have a young crew," Villanueva said. "We have two juniors returning and the rest are sophomores. What I am really excited about is how much experience this group of juniors and sophomores have gotten this year."

"I just think that will set us up for success next year. They will know what to expect, as well as gameplans," she said. "They will know what we want to implement and that our standards are love, encouragement and support. We can really start right away, where we left off. I am excited about next year for these young girls."

Molalla ended the season with a 10-9 overall record, making a postseason game. The Indians play at Tillamook (9-9) Friday, Nov. 1.

"I really enjoyed our love, encouragement and support core values," senior captain Korie Johnson said. "That really helped build a family between all three teams and it was super fun to watch all our freshmen and JV grow. It was just a really fun season."

"Three different coaches in four years was a little rough, but I learned so much from all of them," she said. "I think going into the year, Natalie just helped me improve my skills and it was super beneficial to me because I have only been libero three of four seasons."

"My favorite thing here was just the team aspect of it," said Johnson. "You build real friends here and it is super nice. My advice for the younger players would be, don't be scared. It is so much more fun when you are not scared. All of the young players coming up are really great and are a lot taller than we were, so that is nice. The rest of the girls on varsity will help carry the team next year."


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