McMinnville — In the first round of the 6A Volleyball State Playoffs on Wednesday in McMinnville, the Grizzlies hosted the Lakers of Lake Oswego in their first round matchup with the winner playing either Central Catholic or McNary on Saturday. On paper this game was expected to be a tightly contested one, but things simply didn’t work out that way for Lake Oswego, who struggled mightily on their way to elimination on Wednesday night.
The Grizzlies came out swinging early, grabbing a quick 5-0 lead to open the match against the Lakers. McMinnville would floor the gas pedal, blowing open an 8-1 advantage that grew to a 12-2, 14-4, 17-5, and eventually 22-6. With absolutely no issues, the Grizzlies cruised to a 25-8 first set victory over Lake Oswego.
Set two was a bit different, as the Lakers and Grizzlies were deadlocked in a 4-4 tie early in the set. McMinnville went on a 5-2 run to take a 9-6 lead, but Lake Oswego fought back to make it 10-9. The Grizzlies opened the advantage back up to 15-12 and made it 18-12 late in the set, but the Lakers fought back to make it 18-15. The hole was too much for Lake Oswego to overcome, as they managed to close within 21-17, but McMinnville hung on for a 25-20 set victory and a 2-0 match lead.
After the second set, the Grizzlies declared it to be hammer time on the scoreboard, blasting the Lakers with a 6-1 deficit in the third set. They continued their tear, making it 10-2, 13-4, and 16-5, but Lake Oswego fought to cut the deficit to 23-11 and 24-14, but the Grizzlies would win the war 25-8, 25-20, 25-14 to sweep the Lakers and advance to a date with Central Catholic on Saturday, who defeated McNary earlier in the evening.
With a first round advancement in their pocket, I spoke with Kayden Sullivan, Alyse Patterson, and Head Coach Ben Patterson about the sweep over Lake Oswego and previewing their match with #2 Central Catholic Saturday.
Coach Ben Patterson on the sweep of Lake Oswego, “We’re always proud of our kids, they play hard and tonight they executed pretty well. Lake Oswego wasn’t on their best game, which helped us a lot, but our kids played pretty well as well so I’m happy with that.”
Kayden Sullivan on preparation for Lake Oswego, “This week we really hit hard on fundamentals, and in practice we were going really hard to prepare for this game, and we were just really focused and wanted it.”
Alyse Patterson on preparing for Central Catholic, “We need to play super aggressive and our serves are huge, and its big if we have aggressive serves. Aggressive hitting is also key, we have really good hitters this year all-around. Jazi (Smith) and Ainslie (Ridgeway) are just so good, and we need them to be super aggressive and our passes to be consistent. Jacie (Ruden) has been doing a great job.”