Warriors volleyball team rallies for 5-set victory over Cascade

For the first time in 679 days, the Philomath High School volleyball team played in front of fans in the home gymnasium. And on this Tuesday night, the Warriors did not disappoint a fairly sizable crowd with a thrilling, five-set come-from-behind victory.

Cascade had five match points against the feisty Philomath squad but could not seal the deal. The Warriors went into extra time to win the third and fourth sets and then dominated the fifth set for the win.

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“We’re fighters and we have the mental toughness,” said senior Sage Kramer, who had 26 kills. “Like when we get down, we’re able to shake off our mistakes and come back.”

Philomath won 18-25, 19-25, 30-28, 29-27 and 15-7 in the Oregon West Conference opener for both teams.

“I think we’re narrowing our lineup and almost complete on figuring out a few things with our rotation and who we have setting for who,” PHS coach Denee Newton said afterward. “I feel like we worked a lot of that out, got some of the jitters out. It took a couple of sets to do that and once we started swinging the ball, yeah, it felt like smooth sailing in that last set.”

Reagan Larson
Senior Reagan Larson sets the ball during Tuesday’s win over Cascade. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

Early on, the team struggled with too many mistakes. In the opening set, the Cougars led 15-6 at one point and although Philomath did cut the deficit to 19-16, it was just too much for the home team to overcome.

In the second set, the Warriors had a 5-1 lead but it quickly evaporated with a couple of Cascade scoring runs. During one stretch, the Cougars scored seven straight points. Still, the Warriors battled back and cut Cascade’s lead to 19-18 before the visitors closed it out.

Kramer, who dazzled in the third, fourth and fifth sets with powerful kills and a few well-timed blocks, was not immune to the early match struggles that the team was experiencing.

“The first couple of sets, I could not hit, I don’t know what happened,” Kramer said. “But I’m glad I figured it out and started to hit it hard again. … Laura (Noble) and Reagan (Larson) just did an amazing job setting it up in the perfect spot. That helps a lot, that makes such a difference.”

Senior Ashlynn Barron and junior Abigail Brown also contributed with timely kills and the Cougars could not find a way to slow down Philomath’s momentum.

In the third set, Philomath got out to a 12-5 lead but a few significant Cascade runs eventually gave the visitors the lead. The two teams traded punches the rest of the way and Cascade had match point on three occasions. Noble, a senior, and Brown had big plays at the net on two of those points to keep Philomath alive and on the third one, Cascade hit long.

The Warriors closed out the third set on a Barron hit.

Cascade then built a 17-9 lead in the fourth set. Philomath cut away at the deficit and went on an 8-1 run to trail just 18-17. Again, the two teams went back and forth and Cascade failed to win twice with match points at 25-24 and 26-25. Barron had a kill on the 25th point and Cascade served long on Philomath’s 26th.

Then Kramer took over and scored the team’s final three points in the third set with kills.

In the fifth set, those smiles that had been on the faces of Cascade’s players during the first two sets were long gone. Philomath never trailed and on the final point, the Cougars were whistled for a “lift” and the Warriors were able to celebrate.

Kramer was perfect from the service line during the five-set match at 100%. Brown had five of the team’s 12 aces. Senior Taylor Roe had 37 digs.

Team celebrates
The team got off to a slow start but was able to celebrate by night’s end with the thrilling five-set comeback over the Cougars. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

“Just kind of calibrating our serve receive with our offense is going to help us a ton because sometimes we’re unbalanced — like our serve receive is strong and then our offense tends to take this dip, or our offense is ready and our serve receive is just funky so we’re a little out of system,” Newton said while analyzing the match. “I think getting those two things happening at the same time will help a ton.”

Philomath (1-1 overall) will have a tough challenge on Thursday with a road match at Sweet Home. The Huskies (2-0) beat Woodburn, 25-10, 25-13, 25-16, on Tuesday night.


Philomath 3, Cascade 2
Tuesday, Sept. 7, at Philomath HS

TEAMS (RECORDS)SET 1SET 2SET 3SET 4SET 5FINAL
Cascade (0-1, 2-1)2525282772
Philomath (1-0, 1-1)18193029153
PHS STATISTICAL LEADERS
Kills: Sage Kramer 26, Ashlynn Barron 9, Abigail Brown 8. Digs: Taylor Roe 37, Sage Kramer 16. Aces: Abigail Brown 5.

Conference Standings
(As of Sept. 7)

Oregon WestConfPct.AllPct.SWSL
Sweet Home
Philomath
Stayton
Sisters
Cascade
Woodburn
Newport
1-0
1-0
1-0
0-0
0-1
0-1
0-1
1.000
1.000
1.000

.000
.000
.000
2-0
1-1
1-2
2-0
2-1
0-1
0-3
1.000
.500
.333
1.000
.667
.000
.000
6
3
4
6
8
0
2
0
5
6
1
4
3
9
SW—Sets won; SL—Sets lost

Tuesday, Sept. 7
Philomath def. Cascade, 18-25, 19-25, 30-28, 29-27, 15-7
Sweet Home def. Woodburn, 25-10, 25-13, 25-16
Stayton def. Newport, 25-19, 25-12, 25-16
Sisters def. Ridgeview, 26-24, 25-23, 19-25, 25-19
Thursday, Sept. 9
Philomath at Sweet Home, 6 p.m.
Stayton at Sisters, 6 p.m.
Woodburn at Newport, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 11
Cascade, Stayton, Sweet Home at Cascade Volleyball Tournament
Sisters at South Eugene Tournament


JUNIOR VARSITY
Philomath 2, Cascade 1
Tuesday, Sept. 7, at Philomath HS

TEAMSSET 1SET 2SET 3FINAL
Cascade2512111
Philomath2225152
TEAM NOTES
Philomath’s junior varsity squad goes to 1-1 on the season. … The team lost the first set, easily took the second set and then won the third by four points for the victory. … Philomath lost a player to an injury and played most of the match with just seven players available. … The JV team is scheduled to play at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Sweet Home.

JUNIOR VARSITY 2
Philomath 2, Cascade 0
Tuesday, Sept. 7, at Philomath HS

TEAMSSET 1SET 2FINAL
Cascade16230
Philomath25252
Note: The teams played an unofficial third set and Philomath won, 15-4
TEAM NOTES
Philomath’s JV2 team evens its record at 1-1 on the season with the two-set victory over Cascade … Although Philomath clinched the victory by winning the first two sets, the teams did play a third set just for fun and the Warriors won that as well, 15-4. … The team is scheduled to play Thursday at Sweet Home with a 4:30 p.m. start time.

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