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The Trojans bested visiting Columbia Christian and won 3-0 to snap 6-game skid

MT. ANGEL, Ore—It hasn't been the easiest season for the Kennedy volleyball program. The team that went 16-0 last year and graduated five seniors has been rebuilding and trying to find its footing. That process led the team to a 1-9 start, with the lone victory coming over league foe Colton 3-2 on Thursday, Sept. 9.

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Senior setter Lydia Berning sets the ball for her outside hitter against the Columbia Christian Knights on Monday, Oct. 4.

It wasn't until Monday, Oct. 4 that the Trojans would secure their second win of the season, this time against a winless Columbia Christian team. Kennedy swept the visiting Knights 3-0, winning the sets 25-16, 26-24, and 25-11.

"I think it gives the girls some confidence and knowing that they do play well together," Kennedy volleyball coach Olivia Cock said. "Sometimes the confidence is key. That's what that game did, gave them some confidence going forward."

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Junior Ashlyn Triewieler hits the ball at the net against the Columbia Christian Knights on Monday, Oct. 4.

The first and third sets were runaways for the home team, but they started shaky. In the first frame Kennedy was initially at 1-4 disadvantage; in the third, they were down 2-5. But somewhere around the middle of each set the team found its rhythm and was able to make solid serves and connect on good passes leading to kills.

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Junior Allison Gooley gets ready to serve the ball against the Columbia Christian Knights on Monday, Oct. 4.

The second set, which was the closest of the three and one in which Columbia Christian nearly got the winning point, was actually the one where Kennedy started strongest. The Trojans leapt out to a 10-1 advantage before the Knights came back to even things up at 19 apiece. The Trojans and the Knights exchanged blows through the rest of the set before Kennedy took over and won 26-24.

"I think that it's really hard," Cock said. "Sometimes we do start off behind and it's just getting that momentum and moving. They're really working hard on getting to know each other throughout the season and getting to play better together. I think there was a little bit of communication error in the beginning. Then the second game, we just had communication error in the middle. We flip flopped it."

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Junior Alex Geschwill digs the ball against the Columbia Christian Knights on Monday, Oct. 4.

The team was able to gel well enough to get the clean sweep. That was thanks in large part to the setting work of senior setter Lydia Berning who helped her hitters earn kills at the net.

"She works so hard," Cock said. "She's all over that court…It's nice to have that senior leadership from Lydia, she's awesome and a great kid. She's ready to encourage her teammates the whole time and set up her teammates wherever."

Kennedy (1-7 in league, 2-9 overall) will have its next contest against Santiam (4-5) on the road on Wednesday, Oct. 6.

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