Rockne Roll/News-Register##
Yamhill-Carlton’s Aylea Dixon makes a dig in the Tigers’ league match against Cascade on Thursday, Sept. 29 at Barnett Court in Yamhill.
Rockne Roll/News-Register## Yamhill-Carlton’s Aylea Dixon makes a dig in the Tigers’ league match against Cascade on Thursday, Sept. 29 at Barnett Court in Yamhill.
Rockne Roll/News-Register##
in the Tigers  league match against Cascade on Thursday, Sept. 29 at Barnett Court in Yamhill.
Rockne Roll/News-Register## in the Tigers' league match against Cascade on Thursday, Sept. 29 at Barnett Court in Yamhill.
Rockne Roll/News-Register##
Yamhill-Carlton s Aylea Dixon, right, tries to tip the ball past a Cascade double block in the Tigers  league match against Cascade on Thursday, Sept. 29 at Barnett Court in Yamhill.
Rockne Roll/News-Register## Yamhill-Carlton's Aylea Dixon, right, tries to tip the ball past a Cascade double block in the Tigers' league match against Cascade on Thursday, Sept. 29 at Barnett Court in Yamhill.
Rockne Roll/News-Register##
Yamhill-Carlton’s Denim Hurst (left) and Matia Ellis go for a dig in the Tigers’ league match against Cascade on Thursday, Sept. 29 at Barnett Court in Yamhill.
Rockne Roll/News-Register## Yamhill-Carlton’s Denim Hurst (left) and Matia Ellis go for a dig in the Tigers’ league match against Cascade on Thursday, Sept. 29 at Barnett Court in Yamhill.
Rockne Roll/News-Register##
Y-C’s Yamhill-Carlton’s Taylor Reimann punches the ball towards the net in the Tigers’ league match against Cascade on Thursday, Sept. 29 at Barnett Court in Yamhill.
Rockne Roll/News-Register## Y-C’s Yamhill-Carlton’s Taylor Reimann punches the ball towards the net in the Tigers’ league match against Cascade on Thursday, Sept. 29 at Barnett Court in Yamhill.
Rockne Roll/News-Register##
Yamhill-Carlton’s Aylea Dixon saves a ball near the back line in the Tigers’ league match against Cascade on Thursday, Sept. 29 at Barnett Court in Yamhill.
Rockne Roll/News-Register## Yamhill-Carlton’s Aylea Dixon saves a ball near the back line in the Tigers’ league match against Cascade on Thursday, Sept. 29 at Barnett Court in Yamhill.
By Logan Brandon • Logan Brandon • 

Tigers fall to Cougars in clawfest

 

YAMHILL – Hosting the Class 4A Oregon West Conference-leading Cascade Cougars last Thursday, Yamhill-Carlton’s volleyball team faced a dangerous opponent. While they ultimately fell short against the first-place Cougars, the home team played valiantly and showed heart in the three-set loss.

The first set displayed the dominance Cascade enjoys this season. Rushing out to an 18-6 lead, the Cougars played with more offensive consistency than their opponent. Setter Meriah Kindell placed her passes in ideal spots for her hitters to take advantage, and take advantage they did. Hits were crisply smacked, either to the open court or off Tiger blocks.

Staring down the 12-point deficit, Y-C didn’t fold. Aylea Dixon rallied her team with superb serving, recording two aces during a 6-0 run. But with the signs of life from Y-C, Cascade answered back with a 4-0 run, winning 25-16.

Then, in the second set, one of the best played by the Tigers this season, middle blocker Kelie Coxen came alive with ferocious hits and infectious positivity. On many of her thunderous swings, she was witnessed with a giant smile, clearly enjoying the competition. After her team racked up points, there was Coxen celebrating wildly and encouraging her teammates.

“At the beginning of the game, I kind of got down. So I tried to make it up the rest of the game. I’ve always been very loud and at the end of games, I usually can’t hear my voice. My teammates need someone to be vocal, and I try to supply that,” said Coxen.

She delivered five massive kills and two suffocating blocks in the tight set. As the game progressed, the momentum swung with each point. One important sequence came with the score tied 24-24. Coxen stifled a Cougars’ hit with a powerful block and followed it up with a skillful kill down the line. The Couagrs, leading 25-24, were on the verge of taking a set from an outstanding opponent.

Alas, the upset was unfinished. A long rally won by Cascade sapped energy from Y-C, and the set was lost 29-27.

The Tigers continued the fight into the third set. Coxen benefited from offensive support provided by Taylor Reimann. Reimann used her height to crush six kills, and Coxen scored six as well. But with the game tied at 14, Cascade’s Kaelyn Worst produced the hardest hits of the night. Set up by Kindell, Worst crushed three kills in a row that left Y-C defenders rooted. The momentum from those hits carried the Cougars to a 25-18 set win, and a match victory.

Y-C’s offensive leaders were Coxen with 11 kills, Dixon with nine kills and three aces and Reimann with eight kills. Coxen also led the team with four blocks.

First year head coach Quinn Takashima loved the fight her team showed.

“They have so much energy and passion. We have a great group of leaders out there. They can fight, but it’s about pushing past that fighting point to win the match,” said Takashima. “They have improved miles this year. Now it comes down to having confidence that they can win these matches.”

Y-C (0-6, 0-12) searches for its first win of the season tonight at North Marion at 6 p.m.

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