The Ashland High volleyball team avenged its first loss of the season in a big way Thursday, hammering Southern Oregon Hybrid 5A rival Eagle Point in three sets to even the three-match series at Mountain Avenue Gym.
The Grizzlies' 25-17, 25-20, 25-17 victory sets up a winner-take-all showdown between the two teams Oct. 25 in Eagle Point.
Ashland (5-5, 1-1 SOH) suffered a four-set loss at Eagle Point (2-10, 1-1) on Sept. 11, but had no trouble handling the Eagles this time. Sophomore setter Jordan Tilley had 31 assists and five of Ashland's 13 service aces, junior middle Madeline Wallace had 11 kills and two blocks and sophomore middle Hope Baldrica added seven kills and one block.
Also for the Grizzlies, senior outside Phoebe Challman had 16 digs, four kills and three aces.
"I think the experience that we've gained over a month and being in our home gym gave us a lot," Ashland head coach Robin Akpan said. "We're definitely playing more as a team and have a lot more consistency and unity playing next to each other right now versus how we were playing a month ago."
Although the winner of the third meeting between the two teams will determine the SOH 5A champion, the league title this season will have no bearing on seeding for the state playoffs. The top 24 teams in the final OSAA power rankings will advance to state, with the top eight automatically qualifying for the round of 16.
Freshman midfielder Jessica Harrower scored four goals, two in each half, as Ashland took a 3-1 halftime lead en route to a 6-2 win over Henley in a nonconference tilt at Thursday at Klamath Falls.
Harrower got Ashland (3-5) on the board in the sixth minute when she connected off a pass from senior forward Aspen Wolff.
Harrower added her second goal in the 22nd minute after senior forward Aspen Wolff capped a long run through half of Henley's defense with a last-second pass.
Harrower also connected on a corner kick in the opening minute of the second half to give Ashland a 4-1 cushion.
Henley fell to 1-6.