Two close sets, but in end it was AHS over EP

When the Eagle Point varsity volleyball team hosted their senior night back on Oct. 20th, several of the Lady Eagles mentioned “beating Ashland at their home court” as a favorite memory of the season. Since this event, the Eagle Point/Ashland rivalry has felt hotter at every confrontation. Before the varsity contest Eagles’ JV coach, Brittany Reynolds, related her anticipation of the game’s intensity, saying it should be a “fun one to watch.”

But, the evening of Thursday, Oct. 27th was probably not as much fun as those in the EP bleachers hoped it would be. At the Ashland High School court, the Eagles lost to the Grizzlies after four sets by scores of 19-25, 27-25, 23-25, 20-25.

“It was a good game,” head coach Elizabeth Bilden said of their loss. “It was just the little things.”

In the first set, some miscommunication on the Eagles’ side made it look like they had not warmed up yet. Five times in the first set, the Eagles gave up possession of service on the first serve and paid the price of losing by the widest spread of the game.

But, the second set brought out the intensity that coach Reynolds predicted and the rest of the game remained a tight competition. Except for once during the last three sets, any time a coach called for timeout the scoreboard was either tied or showed Eagle Point in the lead.     Christine McCready was on her defensive toes and picked up 35 digs, in addition to her 15 kills. Whitney Barber was an offensive force not to be ignored. Barber’s 6 kills do not accurately represent the trouble she caused for the Grizzlies. Carolina Regalado set up 34 assists, and scored on 3 dumps, tricking Ashland’s defense every time.

The JV Eagles quickly won their game in two sets by 25-19, 25-22. They “came out fired up,” and “finished strong” according to coach Reynolds. Reynolds expressed pride in her team’s success at the end of the season in spite of some injuries. “Every one of the healthy players stepped up,” she said.

Hannah Mason’s freshman Eagles also beat the Grizzlies in the first two sets, but then elected to play a third set as an exhibition. The scores were 25-19, 25-17, 16-14. Mason commented about her athletes, “they all have amazing attitudes,” and continued to say that she “expect[s] them to be very talented” when they reach the varsity level. Mason explained how much she has enjoyed coaching this season with the words “It’s not really a job, it’s a blast.”

The OSAA will release information concerning the Eagles’ placement in the playoffs shortly.
By Michael Stephens
For the Independent

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