The Cougars reach the playoffs for the seventh time in eight seasons but are unable to string points together against the No. 4 Crusaders.
It wouldve taken an extraordinary performance from the Canby volleyball team to upend Jesuit in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.
Jesuit, after all, entered the match with the states No. 4 ranking and sweeps in all but two of its 20 victories.
The Cougars found out why Oct. 29, finishing their season with a frustrating 3-0 (25-9, 25-11, 25-7) loss to the Crusaders on the road.
Theyre one of the best teams we saw all year, but theyre not 25-7 better, first-year coach Terri Jo Schlatter said. They were good, but I also think (my players) are just not quite there. Theyre just starting to believe they can play at a high level, but theyre not quite ready to sustain that kind of fight.
Jesuit has been a frequent postseason obstacle for Canby, which also fell to the Crusaders in the state playoffs three years in a row starting in 2007.
This meeting was no different, as the Cougars (9-16) werent able to keep the Metro League champion from advancing to face Grants Pass in the second round.
Canby entered the match on the heels of a 3-0 triumph against Westview in the play-in round, securing a spot in the state bracket for the second-straight year. The program has made seven playoff appearances in the eight seasons since the OSAA created six athletic classes.
But this years campaign ended much like it did under then-coach Caitlin Gustin last year, when the Cougars swept South Eugene in a play-in match before falling in straight sets to Hillsboro-Century in the opening round.
Not how I wanted to end my volleyball career, senior middle blocker Carissa Reeder tweeted. But I love my team!
Canby, which has not won a playoff game since 2010, lost in three straight sets to nine opponents this season.
The last of the bunch was Jesuit (21-4), which overpowered the Cougars with a strong attack and a formidable defensive front. Elise Krippaehne and Kathryn Decker combined for 17 kills and eight blocks.
They had some big hitters, especially in the middle, and that set the tone for the match, Schlatter said. They had a big block, and it got in our head, so wed hit the ball out of bounds.
Canby had trouble stringing points together all evening, mustering just nine in the first set.
Its chances for an upset dwindled with a 25-11 setback in the second frame, and Jesuit rode its momentum to an easy 25-7 decision in the final set.
The Cougars logged more hitting errors than kills in the match.
Our ball-handling, which has been our strength, was definitely not as good, and against a team like that we have to bring our strength in order to compete, Schlatter said. Our best thing, we have to do it well, and we didnt.
It was painful. The whole thing was painful because I didnt want them to end on a match like that. Its been a great season for them. I didnt want the last thing they tasted being not their best effort.
AT A GLANCE
CANBY VOLLEYBALL IN THE OSAA SIX-CLASS ERA
2006: round of 16
2008: fourth place
2009: fifth place
2010: round of 16
2011: no playoffs
2012: first round
2013: first round