WINCHESTER — On a homecoming night of sorts for three of her freshmen and with the postseason already secured, Linn-Benton coach Jayme Frazier looked for one thing out of her Roadrunner squad Friday night at Umpqua.
“Our goal was to come in here and just play a really clean, aggressive game regardless of what was on the other side,” said Frazier. “Umpqua has the ability to bring a lot of energy, they have some good height and solid blocking, so that was our goal, just to play clean regardless of what we saw on the other side.”
McKya Filley finished with nine kills, Ellie Weber had two kills and a block assist and Sierra Mauro had an assist as the three former Douglas County stars helped the Roadrunners to a three-set sweep of UCC.
Set scores were 25-11, 25-16, 25-6.
Filley and Mauro were both playing in the OSAA Class 3A state tournament for Glide High this time last year, while Weber was a three-year starter at Roseburg and first-team all-Southwest Conference last fall.
“I’m really blessed because a lot of my family is here, and people I grew up with,” said Filley moments after greeting some of those individuals after the match. “It felt really good to see them and for them to be here to support me.”
With those three, four other players from south of Roseburg and former North Douglas star Sabrina MacDowell redshirting for LBCC (29-8, 10-2 South), there was a large crowd on hand for the match.
“We packed our gym a couple weeks ago against Chemeketa,” said Frazier. “It’s good to see that on a Friday night, that good solid support, but I sort of expected it, too. Seven or eight of my kids are from Eugene down.”
Filley and Mauro didn’t see the court in the first set, but Filley made a significant impact in the final two sets on the front line. Her .429 hitting percentage was tops on the team and her nine kills tied her for the team lead with sophomore Katelyn Allen, who was a role player out of Hidden Valley when the Roadrunners went undefeated in the 2016 regular season.
Sophomore Felicia Sparks and freshman Emma Lind both five kills for the Riverhawks (11-24, 2-10), who finished with a negative hitting percentage of -.022 and only had 16 kills as a team.
After battling LBCC in the first two sets, the Riverhawks were out of the third set before they ever served. LBCC libero Sara Fanger served the first nine points of the set, and UCC never got closer than eight the rest of the match.
Once the rotation brought Filley onto the court in the third set, she was fantastic, reading the block and hammering out kill after kill.
“I was feeling it in the third set,” said Filley. “I was warmed up, ready and more confident. Confidence is key, that’s for sure.”
“McKya is really learning how to transition quickly and be ready for any ball, and how to use the block,” Frazier said. “On the outside they block all the time, so it becomes what else can they do with it. She’s getting quicker, she’s able to hit those gaps, able to use the block. We’re introducing more skills for her.”
Linn-Benton is among three teams vying for the South Region title — Clark and Chemeketa are the others — while the top four that will advance to the NWAC tournament are already decided.
“I haven’t had a bunch of playing time, but the times that I do go in I take advantage of,” said Filley. “I’ve learned a lot throughout the year.
“I think we played well together and it just felt really good out there.”
After reaching the postseason last year, the Riverhawks will be at home after they conclude the regular season. They host Lane at 1 p.m. today in their final home match.