The Ashland volleyball team notched a 25-18, 25-21, 13-25, 25-17 win over West Albany to take home third place in the Class 5A state tournament on Saturday.
The Grizzlies were led by Asia Kane, who had 16 kills and 19 digs, while Sammi Gilbert had 13 kills, 12 digs and three aces. Heidi Siebenlist recorded 40 assists and 15 digs, and Dana Saladoff chipped in with 32 digs.
It was the third straight top-four finish for the Grizzlies, who won the big-school state championship in 2005 and took fourth last year.
"This team really played well together," said Ashland coach Jodee Scott of the team's strong finish. "They're really good at working hard for one another. They were a very easy group to coach."
The Grizzlies defeated Thurston in three games in the quarterfinal round on Friday, then lost to top-ranked Crook County in the semis in four games to drop into the third-fifth-place match.
"We were the first 5A team to take a game from Crook County," said Scott. "They've only lost to 6A teams so far this year. They're like a machine."
The Cowboys defeated Summit to win the state championship.
Ashland, which went unbeaten in Southern Sky Conference play, finished the season 23-11 overall.
At Bend, Kelsey Corney scored off a corner kick by Jamaica Pinnick in the third minute to help Bend slip by Ashland 1-0 in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A state tournament.
The Lava Bears outshot the Grizzlies 12-3.
Ashland had a chance to tie the game late, but Bend's goal keeper blocked a penalty kick to preserve the lead.
It didn't take Josh Rohlfing long to know he had a special team of players.
But the first-year Southern Oregon University volleyball coach never expected a Cascade Conference championship.
The Raiders completed the regular season Saturday with their 20th straight win, earning a league co-championship with powerful College of Idaho.
SOU ran its league record to 19-1 with a sweep of Concordia at McNeal Pavilion, 30-28, 30-14, 30-20.
Southern Oregon had a .333 attack percentage overall, leading to 48 kills. Mia Wortel and Samantha Yutzie led the way with 13 and 12, respectively.
Emily Stone and Whitney Riehl each contributed double figures with defensive digs that kept the crowd howling and the Cavaliers in trouble.
SOU also said goodbye to five senior players honored before the game. They included Shanna Claflin, right-side hitter from Grants Pass; Molly Grossman, setter from Ashland; Riehl, defensive specialist from Portland; Jaclyn Hamilton-Smith outside hitter from Eugene and Richelle Millsap, middle blocker from Bend.
The Raiders (25-4) compete next week in the NAIA Region I tournament in Spokane, Wash.
At Klamath Falls, Ryon Pool scored 20 points to lead four Southern Oregon players in double digits as the Raiders won their third straight game with a 74-63 victory over Simpson University at the Oregon Tech Invitational.
Trenton Fraser added 15 points, Josh McDermott had 11 and Kory Mahr scored 10 for the Raiders, who shot 45 percent from the field and were 12 of 17 from the foul line.
Southern Oregon (3-2) opens its home schedule on Tuesday against Cascade Conference rival Oregon Tech.
Southern Oregon 74, Simpson 63
SOUTHERN OREGON (74)
Fraser 6-9 1-3 15, Mahr 5-11 0-1 10, McDermott 4-6 2-3 11, Cowell 0-6 4-9 4, Pool 6-10 7-8 20, Thornton 2-5 1-2 5, Jackson 0-2 0-0 0, Grant 0-2 0-0 0, Tiefenthaler 0-1 0-0 0, Nunnemaker 3-6 3-6 9. Totals: 26-58 18-32 74.
Johnson 1-4 2-3 4, Payne 2-9 2-3 6, Washington 4-8 1-2 9, Nixon 3-5 1-3 7, Barclay 4-8 0-2 8, King 0-2 0-0 0, Sidener 1-5 0-0 2, Morrison 7-14 0-0 15, McBride 5-8 0-0 12, Ellison 0-0 0-0 0, Eoff 0-3 0-0 0, Bond 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 27-67 6-13 63.
Southern Oregon 40, Simpson 31. 3-point goals Southern Oregon 4-10 (Fraser 2-3, McDermott 1-1, Pool 1-2, Grant 0-1, Tiefenthaler 0-1, Cowell 0-2), Simpson 3-16 (McBride 2-4, Morrison 1-3, Barclay 0-1, Sidener 0-1, Bond 0-1, Payne 0-2, Johnson 0-2, Eoff 0-2). Rebounds &
Southern Oregon 44 (Pool 13), Simpson 36 (Barclay 9). Assists &
Southern Oregon 15 (Cowell 6), Simpson 13 (Washington 5). Personal Fouls &
Southern Oregon 13, Simpson 27. Turnovers &
Southern Oregon 21, Simpson 13. A &
Sports editor Joe Zavala can be reached at 482-3456 x 224 or joe.
Ashland High netters snare third-place trophy at state