Crook County volleyball beats The Dalles, struggles in Bend


The Cowgirls were knocked out of the Clearwater Classic tournament by North Medford

The Crook County High School volleyball team is struggling right now to put together a complete match.

The Cowgirls squeaked past The Dalles 25-22, 26-24, 25-19 on Thursday, then dropped to the silver bracket at the prestigious Clearwater Classic Tournament, which was held in Bend on Saturday. Once in the silver bracket, the Cowgirls were swept in the quarterfinals by North Medford, who the Cowgirls had previously defeated in pool play.

Thursday, Crook County had difficulty passing the ball, making it hard to run their offense. Still, despite the struggle, the Cowgirls were still able to sweep the Riverhawks. The victory kept Crook County in second place in conference play with a 5-1 Intermountain Conference mark. Meanwhile, The Dalles fell to 1-5 in league and 6-8 overall.

McKenzie Jonas had 19 kills to lead Crook County’s offensive attack in the match, while Josie Kasberger finished with eight kills, and Kendall Maykut chipped in with five.

PMG PHOTO: LON AUSTIN - Jaycee Villastrigo, in white, and McKenzie Jonas dive for a ball during the Clearwater Classic in Bend.Jaycee Villastrigo led the Cowgirl defense with 12 digs, while Jenny McKinnon finished with seven digs and 31 assists.

As has happened much of the season, it was the service line where Crook County won the match. As a team, the Cowgirls went 68-75 from the line with 16 aces. Villastrigo went 11-11 with four aces. Mattee Simmons went 13-14 from the service line with a pair of aces, while Kasberger went 11-12 with two aces, Maykut 9-10 with two aces, and McKinnon 16-18 with three aces.

Saturday, the Cowgirls got off to a quick start, taking a 25-14 win over North Medford in their first set of pool play. However, Crook County was unable to keep the momentum, dropping the second set to the Black Tornado 25-21. The Cowgirls officially won the match due to point differential, however, the loss in the second set ultimately cost Crook County a position in the gold bracket of the tournament.

Crook County came back in their second pool play match to sweep Aloha 25-14, 25-16. The Cowgirls then faced Bend, the number one seed in their pool. In the opening set, the two teams were tied 11-11 before the Lava Bears went on a tear, outscoring Crook County 14-4 the remainder of the set as they took a 25-15 win. Bend took control again in the second set as they defeated the Cowgirls 25-18. That advanced the host Lava Bears into the gold bracket. Once in the silver bracket, the Cowgirls and Black Tornado had a rematch in the quarterfinals. This time, North Medford turned the tables on Crook County, taking a 25-19, 25-19 straight set victory. With the win, the Black Tornado advanced to the semifinals of the silver bracket while Crook County was eliminated from the tournament.

Jonas led Crook County in kills with 33, while Maykut finished with 20 and Kasberger 18. Haven Housley replaced an injured Cylie Hartzell and finished with a career high four kills in the tournament.

Villastrigo led the Cowgirl defensive effort with 44 digs, while Kasberger had 13, McKinnon 12 and Maykut 10.

Simmons led the Cowgirls from the service line, going 43-46 with six aces. Jonas was 22-23 with three aces, while Maykut went 24-25 with an ace, Kasberger was 21-22 with an ace, Villastrigo finished 22-24 with a pair of aces, and McKinnon went 21-23 with two aces. McKinnon also led Crook County in assists with 72 in the tournament.

Crook County is scheduled to face Hood River Valley, 0-5, 5-9, on the road tonight. However, the Eagles did not play their scheduled varsity match with Ridgeview on Thursday as several players on the Eagles varsity team are in a COVID quarantine. The two schools did, however, play the scheduled JV and freshman matches. Crook County returns home on Thursday when they host the Pendleton Buckaroos, 2-4, 5-8. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

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