Glide — Magical things truly do happen in high school sports, and it is always a feel-good story when it all comes together. On Wednesday night, the Glide Wildcats hosted the La Pine Hawks in a non-league 3A matchup in Southern Oregon. The Hawks were coming fresh off a tournament win in Lakeview over the weekend, while Glide struggled on Monday in a 3-1 loss to Umpqua Valley Christian to open their season.
This one started hot for La Pine, as they were delivering in all aspects of the game early on. Glide was disorganized and out of sync, losing the battle to La Pine at the net and in the serves department. Rylee Miller, Lindsey Moulder, and Riley Scruggs were on their game, forcing errors and knocking Glide out of sync en route to a 25-17 first set victory against the Wildcats. Glide started better in the second frame, taking an early lead behind well executed play and cooling off a hot La Pine squad. However, the cracks began to resurface for Glide and La Pine came fighting back, eventually taking a 15-10 second set advantage. The Hawks would keep Glide away in the second set, winning it by another 25-17 score and taking a commanding 2-0 lead over Glide. The Wildcats were struggling with unforced errors and just couldn’t seem to find any grip or momentum.
The tide turned in the third set, as Glide came out swinging like they did in the last set, but something felt different about this one. A trio began to start molding on the attacking side in Ella Wright, Peyton Geiger, and Teagan Triplett, while the team began to sync in with solid digs on the defensive end and settle into a set offensive attack. The result was their most efficient set of night to that point and a 25-18 third set win to hold off a La Pine sweep. Momentum continued into the fourth set, as La Pine never found momentum and Glide ceased on the moment, hitting the gas pedal and not giving an inch in the fourth set en route to a dominant 25-14 fourth set win, setting up a fifth set showdown with the Hawks.
The best of both teams came out in the battle to 15 points for the final set, as La Pine looked like they did in the first two sets, and Glide kept up their momentum from the last two sets. With neither team leading by more than two points, it would come down to who executed the best and who took advantage of the opportunities presented to them. It took overtime and a couple lead changes, but it was the hometown Wildcats who completed the comeback with a 17-15 final set victory, winning it in five sets after trailing 2-0 in the match.
Rylee Miller led all athletes with 16 kills for La Pine, while Ella Wright led Glide with 13 kills. Other notable offensive contributors were Kaydance Guenther, Peyton Geiger, and Teagan Triplett, all of whom had nine kills apiece in the match for their respective teams. Riley Scruggs and Lindsey Moulder combined for three blocks for La Pine, while Geiger had two for Glide and Autumn Alltus added one for the Wildcats. Miller tallied a team leading 15 digs for La Pine, Savannah Johnstone added 12 digs, and Taylor Hefley had 45 assists for the Hawks. As for Glide, Mila Ranger led with 19 digs and 27 assists, Madison Weber and Kamryn Aumock both recorded 18 and 17 digs respectively.
Glide: The Wildcats came together and got to taste how things can be if they find a way to sync like that consistently. Ella Wright will be relied on to lead the team ahead, while Mila Ranger and Peyton Geiger will serve as a couple of the larger role players on the Wildcats this season. Their ceiling is through the roof if they can find consistency, and it might be enough to wiggle their way into a playoff spot.
La Pine: The toughest lessons happen in the worst moments, and the Hawks were just straight beat on the floor. A great takeaway would be knowing that anything is possible, and that having a big lead doesn’t guarantee a win, so you cannot get comfortable on the floor. Rylee Miller was the star of the game for La Pine, her two-way ability makes her indispensable for the Hawks, as is Taylor Hefley and her constant aid to her teammates. The Hawks are a good team, and if they can get over the mental hurdle from this, they’ll be in shape to compete for another playoff spot in 2022.
Glide (1-1) travels to Bandon on Thursday, La Pine (4-1) opens conference play against Pleasant Hill on Sept 6th.