Creswell, Sports

Volleyball honors seniors; playoffs are this week

BULLDOGS MIDDLE BLOCKER KYLEE WHITSON HITS THE BALL PAST EAGLES ALLAIRE GILDER DURING THE SECOND SET OF THE MATCHUP AGAINST SANTIAM CHRISTIAN ON OCT. 16. THE CRESWELL BULLDOGS LOST TO THE SANTIAM CHRISTIAN EAGLES 1-4 AND HAVE A CURRENT OVERALL SEASON RECORD OF 12-9. Christopher Palanuk/The Creswell Chronicle

Although they blitzed the Eagles 25-14 in the first set, the Lady Bulldogs volleyball team ultimately fell to second-ranked Santiam Christian 1-3 on Oct. 16, dropping the remaining sets 20-25, 17-25 and 21-25.
”I think we took them by surprise and earned their respect in that first set, but after that we lost our focus and made a lot of unforced errors,” said Creswell Head Coach Anna Baltrusch. ”Our serve-return was not very good – that’s what hurt us most.”
Breanna Dapron paced Creswell with 18 kills and three aces. Bailey Howell added 10 kills and nine digs; Kailee Cooper scooped 14 digs; Karlie Harris had four stuff blocks; Kylee Whitson had seven aces; and Jenessa Mallory provided 28 assists.
”Kylee was serving up some crazy aces, and the whole team was blocking well – they were having a hard time getting through our blockers,” Baltrusch said.
Before the start of the game, the Lady Dawgs honored their four seniors, Howell, Cooper, Macy Waller and Izzy Ramirez. The seniors’ families joined them on the court, congratulating them with balloons, flowers and other gifts as the seniors’ letters of appreciation and favorite volleyball memories were read aloud.
At Harrisburg on Oct. 18, Creswell defeated the host Eagles 25-20, 28-26, 24-26 and 25-14.
”It was a great match, with a huge crowd because it was their Senior Night,” Baltrusch said. ”The kids stepped it up and played really well.”
Dapron led the Lady Dawgs with 23 kills. ”She was calling for the ball and just putting it away,” Baltrusch said.
Howell added 13 kills and 15 assists; Harris and Mallory each had six stuff blocks, and Mallory also provided 30 assists.
Jane Marquess scooped 19 digs and served five aces. ”She had a great game; she’s been serving really well,” Baltrusch said.
Ninth-ranked Creswell hosts 10th-ranked Harrisburg for a league playoff game this week to determine the league’s second seed to state. As league champion, Santiam Christian is the automatic first seed.
”Our league playoff game will impact our (state) ranking, but we’re both going to state because whoever loses will be one of the highest-ranked teams not earning a spot from their league, so they’ll get one of the at-large spots,” Baltrusch said.
The Lady Dawgs will know their state playoff matchup – and whether they’ll be traveling or hosting – by midweek, with state playoff games slated for Saturday, Oct. 27.
”It’s probably 50-50 (whether we travel or host),” Baltrusch said. ”And no matter who we end up playing, a lot of teams this time of year are good, so you have to show up with your best game to beat anybody. Our team is a great team; they could go all the way – but we’ll just have to see how it goes.”