ESTACADA— It may have been a non-league match, it just didn't feel that way.
In a highly emotional contest with some excitable fans and several long rallies between the two teams, it was the more battle-tested and experienced team that came out top.
Estacada defeated North Marion in four sets on Wednesday, Sept. 6, winning the match 25-14, 19-25, 25-17, 25-23.
"We held our composure really well. I think the girls are playing well and all my hitters that go in there are showing some really good stuff," Estacada head coach Shawna Lippert said. "That was the best we have serve-received all season."
Estacada's Trinity Gach finished the match with 14 kills and five blocks while Sophie Davies chipped in with 11 kills of her own. Emily Gant finished with a game-high 24 digs.
"We look at every game as it's a conference game where each point matters," Davies said. "It's our mentality that gets us through when we are losing. We are an aggressive team."
The Rangers swept North Marion with little resistance in their matchup last season, but it was clear to Lippert that North Marion was much improved in 2017.
"We have played North Marion many times in the past, so I think that we kind of anticipated them to be not as tough. But I think that program is a lot better now than what it used to be," Lippert said.
Estacada got off to a great start in the first set, jumping out to a quick 7-2 lead after a kill by Gach and an ace Davies. The Rangers would extend their lead to 15-7 on a monster kill by Tessa Riedel, forcing North Marion to use a timeout.
Look for the full version in the Sept. 14 print edition.