Senior Abigail Brown had two-thirds of Philomath’s kills in Tuesday’s match at defending champion Cascade. (File photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The Philomath High School volleyball team had its competitive moments in Tuesday night’s Oregon West Conference opener at Cascade but ended up losing the match in three sets. The Cougars got the victory 25-17, 25-15 and 25-17.

“I was impressed with the effort put in by the team tonight,” first-year PHS coach Autumn Hilberg said. “It’s hard to come back from a long tournament and compete at a high level but our leaders stepped up and set the pace.”

The Warriors (4-1) competed all day Saturday in a tournament at Sisters.

Cascade (6-2), the defending Class 4A state champions, came into the match with an unbeaten record in regular matches — the two setbacks on its record coming in tournament play.

In the first set, Cascade led 12-6 before the Warriors stormed back to within 13-11. Then after the home team regained its composure to lead 16-11, Philomath again rallied to cut its deficit to 18-16. But down the stretch, the Cougars scored seven of the last eight points to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

Philomath got off to an 11-5 lead in the second set at one point before the Cougars staged a comeback. Cascade outscored the Warriors 20-4 after its early deficit to take the set and then closed out the match with the upper hand in the third set.

Hilberg said kills were hard to come by in the match with senior Abigail Brown recording 14 of the team’s 21. Senior Kori Galvan had an errorless night on the serve-receive and finished with 26 digs. Junior Ahnika Tryon had a team-high four aces at the service line.

Elsewhere, sophomore Ashleigh Brown had 20 set assists and Abigail Brown had four of the team’s six blocks at the net.

The Warriors are scheduled to hit the court again Thursday with a 7 p.m.home match against Newport.