CENTRAL POINT &
The Ashland boys soccer team put it all together Tuesday in a 3-0 victory over Crater at Dutch Meyer Stadium.
The victory in the Grizzlies' regular-season finale clinched the Southern Sky Conference championship, and with the postseason approaching, the performance couldn't have come at a better time.
"We played our game today," said Ashland coach Eisa Tiaa Tutu. "I was happy with our patience. I can't ask for more out of them."
Crater coach Chris Gallegos went even further in praise of the Grizzlies (7-1 SSC).
"We ran into a buzz saw today," Gallegos said. "They're a very good team. We knew we had a fight in front of us and Ashland was very good today."
Ashland picked up first-half goals from Derek Owens-Oas and Kelby Kemske to take a 2-0 advantage into intermission. Nate Roupp tacked on a goal late in regulation.
Gallegos estimated his team got off only four shots on goal against the Grizzlies.
"Even when we had it, things just weren't coming off clean for us tonight," Gallegos said. "But I'm proud of my boys. They played their hearts out."
The Comets (4-3 SSC) trail second-place Klamath Union by one game in the loss column with one game to play. Crater is assured at least a third-place finish in the SSC, which will send the top three teams to the Class 5A state playoffs.
Crater goes to Eagle Point on Saturday to close out the regular season, while Ashland will host a second-round playoff game on Nov. 6.
At Ashland, senior Sammi Gilbert fueled the Ashland attack as the Grizzlies beat Eagle Point 25-14, 25-19, 25-22.
Gilbert pounded 10 kills to go with 15 digs and five aces. The Grizzlies also got a strong net game from sophomore right side Hannah Stocking (10 kills).
Senior setter Heidi Siebenlist dished out 28 assists and came up with 11 digs for fourth-ranked Ashland (16-9, 7-0 SSC).
For Eagle Point, junior outside Erin Hedrick had 13 kills and five blocks.
Sports editor Joe Zavala can be reached at 482-3456 x 224 or joe.
Grizzlies clinch SSC title; VB team trounces Eagle Point
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