Prior to Tuesday night's match, Ashland High athletics director Karl Kemper borrowed the microphone and told fans he wanted to make sure Ashland Middle School's gym had been sufficiently ''Grizzlified'' before the high school hosted its initial sporting event there.
Prior to Tuesday night's match, Ashland High athletics director Karl Kemper borrowed the microphone and told fans he wanted to make sure Ashland Middle School's gym had been sufficiently "Grizzlified" before the high school hosted its initial sporting event there.
As it turns out, the warm-up music was still played twice as loud as is generally tolerable, the price of pizza slices still drops to a dollar by the end of matches and, oh yeah, the volleyball team is still making domination on their home floor look effortless.
And that's plenty Grizzlified for coach Jodee Scott.
Scott's team bounced back from a pair of recent setbacks to Henley and Roseburg and rolled over Grants Pass in a 25-10, 25-11, 25-20 sweep of the visitors in its first victory of the season.
"I'm really proud of the way we came out tonight," said Scott, whose team pinned the second slot in Monday's 5A coaches' poll. "Our defensive specialists picked it up and we controlled the ball so much better than we had been."
Junior defensive specialist Elizabeth Westmoreland led the back with nine digs, and the scoring attack suffered no drop-off as the win was never in jeopardy.
Outside hitter Asia Kane notched five of her game-high nine kills in the first game and helped Ashland (1-2) score 12 of 13 points after the Cavers cut their early lead to 8-6. After a couple attacking errors to start the second game, the senior's back-to-the-net prayer of a dig found a hole on the other side and gave Ashland the lead for good at 3-2.
"We came out aggressive, and that was really important," Kane said. "We also did really well passing, though, and that's been a key for us."
Kane's partner in crime, senior setter Kiley Pinder, added six digs and a match-high 21 assists, including a hook-up with junior Katie Patton that capped a 14-2 run to end the second game.
The only Grants Pass lead came in the final game, when the Cavers held a 13-11 edge, also when Scott used her only timeout of the match.
The Grizzlies responded by scoring 10 of the next 11, a run in which Taylor Hartrick added the exclamation point to with three consecutive aces.
Juniors Hayley Ross and Niki Small also tallied six and five kills, respectively.
"We're still just getting used to running a system and playing well together," Kane said. "But tonight was a good step."
Grants Pass, whose roster lacks a single senior, struggled to keep up with Ashland's pace throughout but began to adapt late courtesy of the play of junior middle blocker Mikaela Zottola. The Cavers, however, shot themselves in the foot early and often with a barrage of unforced errors and the Grizzlies capitalized.
"Most of our problems have been coming from passing and trying to play at a higher level," Scott said. "But we're continuing to get more aggressive and our leadership's starting to show on the court."
The Grizzlies will try to avenge a three-game loss to Roseburg on Thursday as the teams will tangle for the second time this season at 7 p.m. at Ashland Middle School.