PHS volleyball: Joelle Berger, Kaela Lindsey

Joelle Berger, left, and Kaela Lindsey, seen here from earlier this season, had big nights at the net in Tuesday's victory at Cascade.


The Philomath High School volleyball team clinched the Oregon West Conference title Tuesday with a 25-16, 20-25, 24-26, 25-19, 15-5 victory at rival Cascade.

"We played with passion and fought to come back from behind," PHS coach Denee Newton said about her team's effort.

Senior Kaela Lindsey had a team-high 36 kills for the Warriors. Sophomore Joelle Berger stepped into the outside hitter position and had 20 kills. Junior Lindsey Luke finished with 48 digs and senior Haidyn Ecker had six blocks.

Berger took over the spot where sophomore Emma Pankalla had been playing. Pankalla has been away from the team because of a trip to Europe. Newton said she will be back with the Warriors Tuesday.

"We were still dealing with Emma being gone and maneuvering and we had a couple of people playing in new positions so we had a couple of moments when we were starry-eyed," Newton said. "It was strange in the fourth set, when I was putting in the lineup, I knew they were not going to let Cascade touch them in the fifth set. ... I could tell by the fire in their eyes."

Cascade excelled on defense in the match with numerous digs on Lindsey hits.

"They were just digging every single hit and she was hitting everywhere," Newton said. "She just couldn't get it on the ground."

But the necessary adjustments were made, the team recognized Cascade's defensive movements and played smarter down the stretch.

Philomath remained perfect in the Oregon West Conference with a 9-0 record. The only remaining conference match is scheduled for Oct. 17 at home against Yamhill-Carlton.

Overall, the Warriors improved to 17-2 and as of Wednesday morning, were sitting at No. 4 in the OSAA rankings. The team, which has won 12 straight matches, will compete Saturday in a tournament at Seaside.

Philomath 3, Cascade 2

Tuesday at Turner

PHILOMATH (17-2, 9-0)     25   20   24   25   15

CASCADE (11-5, 7-2)        16   25   26   19     5

Kills—Lindsey 36, Berger 20, Ecker 4, Nelson 3, Staten 1, Couture 1, Skinkis 1. Aces—Lindsey 4, Bowers 1, Skinkis 1. Blocks—Ecker 6, Staten 2, Nelson 1, Berger 1, Lindsey 1. Assists—Matthews 28, Skinkis 25, Luke 4, Couture 2, Berger 1. Digs—Luke 48, Lindsey 19, Matthews 17, Skinkis 11, Couture 9, Bowers 8, Ecker 6, Staten 5, Nelson 2, Berger 1.

Junior Varsity

Philomath 3, Cascade 0

Tuesday at Turner

PHILOMATH     25   25   25

CASCADE        19   17   17

Team notes: Philomath's JV team continues its perfect season with a 25-0 record. ... The JV Warriors downed Newport, 25-12, 25-8, 25-16, in an Oct. 3 match. ... Against the Cubs, Amie Russell, Claire Skinkis and Hannah Bovbjerg each had four aces and Ashley Matthews had six kills against Newport. ... Philomath followed with a 25-14, 25-9, 25-8 win Oct. 5 over North Marion. ... The JV wraps up the season Tuesday at home against Yamhill-Carlton.

Junior Varsity II

Cascade 3, Philomath 1

Tuesday at Turner

PHILOMATH     16   25   15   11

CASCADE        25   20   25   25

Team notes: The JVII squad finished its season with an 11-8 record. ... The team dropped the four-set decision Tuesday at Cascade in its final match. ... The JVII Warriors defeated Newport Oct. 3 in straight sets, 25-13, 25-11, 25-8, in their final home match of the season. ... Against the Cubs, Philomath had a combined 32 aces and 11 kills. ... On Oct. 5, Philomath won at North Marion, 25-19, 25-17, 25-19. ... The team had 20 aces and 14 kills against the Huskies.


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