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Southridge scorches Beaverton in three

Skyhawks on a tear, look ahead to Jesuit


by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Southridge senior Bethany Kosmowski goes up for a tip kill over a Beaverton double team in the second set of the Skyhawks' sweep on Thursday.

The Southridge volleyball team turned an always-impassioned showdown with Beaverton into an all-out kill party at The Cage on Thursday night.

Playing loose and relaxed in front of a rambunctious home crowd that rattled Southridge's home court from the first game on, the Skyhawks swept the Beavers 25-2, 25-8, 25-10 for their fifth straight win.

When the Skyhawks are free and easy as they did against their Metro foe, that's when they're at their best, says captain Nicole Rigoni. They fed off the crowd's rhythmic chants and claps that resounded off the rooftops and used it as fuel to direct spikes and aces at the Beavers' defense all night long.

“It's always fun to show off in front of our fans,” said Rigoni. “I love getting the crowd in the game. It gets the energy in the gym super loud and intense for the other team. The energy was so high and our girls were having so much fun. We get to go home with a smile on our faces.”by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Southridge senior Jessica Kaiser jumps to block a Beaverton kill attempt during the Skyhawks sweep.

“We just decided to relax and go for it,” said junior outside hitter Sofia Basauri. “Although we had something to lose because we're trying to go for first or second in Metro, we really tried to have fun and play with a lot of spirit.”

Senior Bethany Kosmowski said Southridge didn't gloss over Beaverton and their six-game losing skid. They came in focused, guarding against a possible upset and ready to play their best.

“The Metro League is always good, so you can't underestimate anybody in our league,” said Rigoni. “They're always good, they're always good and pick off teams. We didn't want to be the one to get picked off.” by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Southridge freshman Natalie Greenberg digs a Beaverton kill attempt in the third game of the Skyhawks sweep of the Beavers on Thursday.

Southridge was sharp as can be in the opening games. Kosmowski killed three passes from Rigoni in the second game while Basauri added three aces. Beaverton junior Meghan Cortner notched a pair of kills and defensive specialist Sarah Tantare kept the Beavers' positivity high, but Southridge's dominance was overwhelming.

Basauri said the Skyhawks were all very consistent and were able to run a lot of plays that they normally don't execute. Southridge mixed up their play calls, with Rigoni setting up room service kills for all of the Skyhawks' outside hitters. Head coach Brooke Mayo rotated through the lineup and ensured each of Southridge's strikers received a kill attempt at the net.

“We have so many players who are versatile and can hit outside and right side,” noted Basauri. “So, we try to utilize that a lot and make sure we get a lot variety with our hits.'

In the third game, Southridge's serving provided six points, including two aces from Nica Loo and Megan Ellerton. Junior middle blocker Sydney Jacobs killed four balls in the final game of the sweep, though Beaverton's Cortner and Ashley Harris had spikes of their own. Senior Brittani Bauman's kill early in the third game, brought Beaverton within 5-3 but that was close as the Beavers would get. by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Southridge junior middle blocker Sydney Jacobs sends a spike at the Beaverton defense.

Southridge's rise to second place in the Metro has coincided with the ratcheting up of the Skyhawks' conditioning and intenisty in practice to ensure they're consistent thorugh the game and never tire. The Skyhawks haven't played more than five games in their last seven matches, but that hasn't stopped them from revving up the determination during the week. The extra suicide drills, jumping exercises and wall sits aren't enjoyable, yet when it's game time, that additional training is invaluable.

“When we look across the net and see the other team's tired, we're still pushing hard and doing what we need to do,” said Kosmowski.

“When we condition and we have an opponent Tuesday and Thursday, someone's going to pay for that conditioning that we do,” said Rigoni. “Whoever it happens to be, happens to be. We're going to take the win because we condition so hard.” by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton junior Sarah Tantare digs out a Southridge spike in the third game of the Beavers loss on Thursday.

Southridge is currently ranked 15th in the 6A OSAA power rankings, but there are teams ahead of the Skyhawks who they've already beaten. They're confident right now and focused on two future missions. First, Southridge want to beat Jesuit on Tuesday, then they want to go to the 6A state tournament. The Crusaders, though, loom large both in the power rankings and playoff positioning.

“I don't think there's a maybe, I think we can beat them,” said Rigoni. “They're in our house. We're going to get fans and lot of people in here. We're going to cram The Cage and make sure they come into a heated house. It's going to take everything we got but I think we can do it.”



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