Ashlynn Barron
PHS senior Ashlynn Barron goes for a kill earlier this season. Barron had a team-high 12 kills in Saturday's win at Mazama. (File photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The Philomath High School volleyball team advanced past the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs on Saturday afternoon with a 27-25, 25-20, 25-11 victory in Klamath Falls over Mazama.

The 13th-seeded Warriors were on their game from the beginning to not only pull off the on-paper upset over the No. 4-seeded Vikings, but did so in convincing fashion on the opponent’s own floor. Mazama came into the match with a 19-1 record and had finished its run to the Skyline Conference championship with a perfect 10-0 record.

“I believe in the prep of playing the toughest teams that we possibly can early on,” said Newton, whose team goes to 11-9 on the season. “The teams that we played in the last few matches have not had the same experiences that we’ve had with really big schools and really big opponents.”

As a result, Newton said Philomath benefited in areas of its game, such as serve receive and overall defense, by playing against opponents that can hit really hard.

“Our serve receive was our biggest area of need tonight and it took us a couple of sets to get over that,” Newton said. “But I just think these girls have played so many tough teams that this is not a team that worried them at all.”

Philomath coaches and players chat during a timeout on Saturday at Mazama. The Warriors swept the Vikings in three sets. (Photo courtesy of Susan Halliday)

Against the Vikings in the first set, Philomath held a 19-12 lead at one point before the home team rallied to get back in it. The Warriors had set point at 24-23 with serve but Mazama tied it when PHS mishandled the ball in the front row. The Vikings then took the lead 25-24 on an ace serve.

Philomath survived and tied it up again following a long rally that ended with a Reagan Larson block. Ashlynn Barron served the final two points — the 26th won on a Clara Stanley play at the net and the 27th on a Mazama violation.

In the second set, Philomath led 9-2 early on only to see the Vikings fight back to get within striking distance. With the Warrior lead down to 19-18, Philomath finished strong to take the set by five points. On the 25th point, Larson scored with another block.

The Warriors took control early in the third set and maintained a considerable lead throughout to earn the sweep. On match point, Kori Galvan took the opponent’s serve and bumped it back over the net, which Mazama was unable to handle.

Barron had a team-high 12 kills and Sage Kramer had 11 to lead the Philomath attack. The Warriors as a team had a .288 attack percentage. At the service line, Kramer had three aces and Taylor Roe had two. Larson finished with 25 assists, Roe had 13 digs and both Larson and Ahnika Tryon had four block assists.

“I wouldn’t say we have a huge offensive match tonight,” Newton said when asked what she saw as the difference. “I think really, tonight was about team unity. Off the top of my head, I wouldn’t even say we had a single standout player. They all had moments.”

The Warriors advance to the quarterfinals on Tuesday where they will face No. 3-seeded Baker (16-6), which needed all five sets to defeat Marshfield in its first-round match, 25-22, 25-14, 15-25, 16-25, 25-10.

Philomath will need to keep its “Road Warrior” mentality intact for the next one with Baker City about 400 miles down the road.

“Yeah, we’re going to take a little drive,” Newton said.

The winner of Philomath vs. Baker will advance to the semifinals against the winner of Siuslaw vs. Sisters.

Philomath 3, Mazama 0
Saturday, Oct. 30, at Mazama HS, Klamath Falls

Philomath (11-9)2725253
Mazama (19-2)2520110
Kills: Ashlynn Barron 12, Sage Kramer 11, Abigail Brown 4, Reagan Larson 2, Clara Stanley 2.
Aces: Kramer 3, Taylor Roe 2.
Solo Blocks: Larson 1, Brown 1.
Block Assists: Larson 4, Ahnika Tryon 4, Kramer 2, Barron 2, Brown 1, Stanley 1
Assists: Larson 25, Kramer 1, Barron 1, Roe 1.
Digs: Roe 13, Kramer 9, Brown 9, Larson 5, Barron 3, Stanley 1.

Class 4A State Tournament

First Round
Friday, Oct. 29
(9) Siuslaw def. (8) North Marion, 27-25, 25-20, 25-14
Saturday, Oct. 30
(1) Sisters def. (16) Marist Catholic, 25-21, 25-14, 25-9
(5) Baker def. (12) Marshfield, 25-22, 25-14, 15-25, 16-25, 25-10
(13) Philomath def. (4) Mazama, 27-25, 25-20, 25-11
(3) Valley Catholic def. (14) Henley, 27-25, 22-25, 25-18, 25-9
(6) Cottage Grove def. (11) Tillamook, 25-18, 25-21, 20-25, 25-20
(7) Sweet Home def. (10) Junction City, 25-11, 25-18, 25-21
(15) La Grande at (2) Cascade, late
Tuesday, Nov. 2
(9) Siuslaw at (2) Sisters
(13) Philomath at (5) Baker
(6) Cottage Grove at (3) Valley Catholic
(7) Sweet Home vs. (15) La Grande-(2) Cascade winner
Note: Times to be announced
Friday, Nov. 5
At Corvallis HS
Siuslaw-Sisters winner vs. Philomath-Baker winner, 6:30 p.m.
Cottage Grove-Valley Catholic winner vs. Sweet Home-La Grande/Cascade winner, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 6
At Corvallis HS
Third/Fourth Place Match

Semifinal losers, 12:30 p.m.
Championship Match
Semifinal winners, 7 p.m. has no paywall and to keep it that way, we rely on voluntary memberships. If you’re already a member, thank you for contributing. To join our community as a member or to make a one-time contribution, please CLICK HERE.