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Pacers win Civil War volleyball rematch

LO falls after topping first-place West Linn, Pacers move into the top-four in the TRL

Photo Credit: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Lakeridge's Grayson Hennelly splits a pair of Lake Oswego blockers with a spike during the Pacers' three-set victory at home on Tuesday. The win moves Lakeridge above .500 in league.The Three Rivers League volleyball landscape continues to be topsy-turvy but both the Lakers and Pacers are closing in on playoff berths with just a small handful of regular season matches remaining.

The teams squared off for the second time this season on Tuesday with Lake Oswego coming off arguably its biggest night of the season.

Last week, the Lakers played a grueling double duel with West Linn and Tualatin and swept the meet. Lake Oswego dropped the first-place Lions in five sets, 25-19, 23-25, 21-25, 25-22, 15-1 and still had enough in the tank to drop a scrappy Tualatin squad in four sets, solidifying the Lakers top-three standing in the TRL.

Meanwhile, Lakeridge rallied to win its first five-setter of the season against a St. Mary's team that is starting to find its footing late in the season. The Pacers won 25-20, 26-28, 19-25, 25-14, 15-6, its third win in a row and looked to carry that momentum over to Tuesday.

After an exceptionally close first meeting between the two rivals that came down to a tight fifth set, Lakeridge rode the energy of a large home crowd to an impressive three-set sweep, continuing its late-season surge with a 25-16, 25-12, 27-25 win.

The Pacers were firmly in control of the match early on, getting kills from multiple players on its front line. Lake Oswego was slow out of the gate, struggling to get good looks for kills close to the net.

The Lakers made a late run, getting three kills from Heather Pippus, but couldn't close the gap as they dropped the opening set.

Lakeridge kept its energy up early in the second set, jumping out to a lead once again. The Pacers would lead 9-7 before rattling off seven straight points thanks, in part, to a pair of aces from Ashley Warmenhoven.

The Pacers would roll to a 25-12 win in the second set but knew they still had work to do to close out the talented Lakers.

Lake Oswego regrouped impressively and, after a back and forth start to the third set, would go up 18-12 after a nice tip at the net by Audrey Treske.

However, Lakeridge responded by winning five straight points, getting an ace from Kacie Van Stiphout and a block from Deborah Brigman.

Lake Oswego continued to hold onto its lead, going up 21-18 on a kill from Pippus but, after a hitting error from the Lakers and back-to-back aces by Brigman, Lakeridge took a late lead.

The Lakers would rally once more and had set-point twice but both opportunities were turned away with kills from Van Stiphout.

Lakeridge then scored two straight points to lock down the win and move to 7-6 in the TRL.

Lake Oswego, meanwhile, is 9-5 with just two matches remaining and has clinched at least a tie for a playoff berth.

The Pacers are one game ahead of Tigard in the standings and finish out the regular season with a match against the Tigers.

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