Cove breaks Mustangs, earns road trip to Klamath Falls
CRANE — Cove got an unusual prize for knocking Crane out of the 1A volleyball playoffs Wednesday.
The Leopards earned another road trip — to Klamath Falls — where they will play the second-ranked team in the playoff bracket, Hosanna Christian.
Cove got off to a slow start Wednesday, losing a 25-16 decision, before sweeping the next three games by 25-22, 25-23, 25-22 margins.
The win sends Cove to face a team that finished fifth in last season’s state tournament at Pacific University. This year, the Lions won their sixth consecutive league title with an undefeated 14-0 record .
According to coach Darcy Carreiro, the Leopards had a tough road trip to play Crane. “Traveling to Crane is never easy, it’s a long bus ride. The kids did an excellent job on being ready to play when we arrived. We took our time, got out and passed the ball around.
“We showed up prepared to play strong,” the coach added.
The team also faced a strong challenge from the Crane defenders, the coach said.
“We started out with a little nerves in the first game. Especially not knowing what big guns the Mustangs had. Crane digs the ball well.
“They rarely let anything hit the floor, they really came to play! They are a very scrappy team. These younger girls have not had any post season experience at all so it was an excellent debut. I was proud of them!.
"The win was a TOTAL team effort all the way around. I couldn’t be prouder of the girls," Carreiro said.
"They have set goals for each game & Wednesday they really came & accomplished all of them. Most important to me was the fact that we were able to really feel the pressure of a big game & finish strong. Even coming from behind in game 2 to pull off the win. The girls really dug deep, stayed calm & posed and stayed solid when the going got tough. That is a huge stride in the right direction for a team of such youth" the coach added.
Hosanna Christian is 21-5 for the season, with losses to Days Creek, Lakeview, Bonanza (2) and Henley.
In their last game, the fifth-ranked Lions swept 12th-ranked Prospect Charter by a 3-0 margin in the Mountain Valley League playoffs Oct. 27.
At stake for both teams will be a berth among the 1A’s Elite Eight playing for a state title in Redmond.
The Lions are led by a trio of seniors, Carly Bigby, Michelle Koepke and Emma Thompson. In the game against Prospect Charter which clinched the Lions’ second straight undefeated MVL season, Bigby tied a school record with 43 assists. Thompson finished with 23 kills and nine digs.
The winner of Saturday’s battle betwen the Leopards and the Lions will earn a spot in the state tournament at the new Ridgeview High School campus on Nov. 9 and 10.