TUALATIN — An impressive winning tradition continued for the Roseburg High volleyball team, as it advanced to the OSAA Class 6A playoffs for the 13th consecutive year.
Roseburg, guided by first-year coach Doug Magee and assistant Siterra Magee (Doug’s daughter), had a great start against Tualatin with a first set victory. However, the Timberwolves quickly regained the momentum and pulled out a 16-25, 25-16, 25-12, 25-18 win at Tualatin High School.
No. 19 Roseburg (12-11) saw its season come to an end. The No. 14 Timberwolves (15-7) advanced to a second-round match at No. 3 Central Catholic (25-3) Saturday.
“These girls couldn’t have fought any harder tonight,” Doug Magee said. “It just breaks your heart to see how hard they fought, but we just couldn’t come through at the end and get a fourth set win. It could’ve been a different story. I just wonder how things kind of fell apart for us. We just need to pick up digs a little better. The girls played their hearts out, especially all six of our seniors.”
Roseburg certainly looked like it had a golden opportunity to win the match with a strong performance in the first set. In a seesaw battle that included 10 ties, Roseburg went up 12-11 on a sideout and never trailed again.
The senior trio of Morgan Johnson, Breez Hansen (five kills) and Hannah Bartlett (nine kills) sparked Roseburg.
“A lot of us tried to step up in the fourth set to help our team, but they (Tualatin) just continued playing really good,” Johnson said. “We had a really fun season and I just love playing volleyball with these girls.”
“I just think we played like we’re capable of playing in the first set, but then things kind of went downhill after that,” Bartlett said. “We fought our hearts out, but just had a little miscommunication problems at times. We didn’t cover tipped balls very well either. Overall, it was a good learning experience and we had a good season. A lot of teams don’t even get to the playoffs and so that’s what matters to me the most.”
The Timberwolves responded by taking the next three games.
“We had lots of energy and momentum in the first set, but then a couple of things just started falling apart,” Hansen said. “We were playing somewhat out of synch and we just were not playing as aggressive as we should’ve been. Overall we played our hearts out and were all cheering for each other all the way to the end, which is what matters most. It took a lot of hard work and motivation from our coaches to help our team to get to the playoffs.”
Roseburg built a 7-3 lead in the second set on an ace by senior Karey Lomica (27 digs). Lomica served three straight service points and a kill by Chay Swenson put Roseburg up 8-5.
“I thought that we had good energy and good momentum after the first set, but then things started to fall apart and we had some errors that we probably shouldn’t have made,” Lomica said. “In the end we were all fighting our hearts out.”
The Timberwolves, led by hard hitting senior outside hitter Addison Crawford, continued pounding balls to the floor and took control by outscoring the Indians 12-4 over the remainder of the set for a nine-point win.
Tualatin then took the early advantage in the third set, going up 8-4 and leading all the way in a lopsided win.
Roseburg had a good start in the fourth set, with freshman setter Mallory Malysz (14 assists) serving three straight service points at the outset.
RHS was in position to win the set, trailing 19-18. But hitting errors and mistakes hurt Roseburg, and Tualatin went on to win the game and match.
Roseburg lost senior middle blocker Faith Jordan in the first set with a left ankle injury.
Roseburg was already without junior outside hitter Alyssa Fox, who was sidelined with a right foot injury suffered two weeks earlier. Fox is one of RHS’s top players.
“I’m excited to see how things will look for us next year,” Doug Magee said. “I thought we did a good job of holding everything together and hopefully we’ll come back in year two and see what we can do. Karey (Lomica) and Hannah (Bartlett) both had a great year, Chay (Swenson) had a great year and our freshman setter (Malysz) did a tremendous job, too.”
The match marked the final match of their RHS volleyball careers for six seniors: Katelyn Crawford, Johnson, Jordan, Hansen, Lomica and Bartlett.