Lady Dawgs host tournament, net two league wins

By Gini Davis

The Creswell Chronicle

During bracket play, the seventh-ranked Lady Dawgs downed fourth-ranked 2A St. Paul, 25-21, 25-20 and battled past fifth-ranked Coquille, 10-25, 26-24, 18-16 before falling to top-ranked Cascade Christian, 17-25, 21-25 to place second at their own Creswell Tournament on Sept. 30.

Creswell had downed Dayton and St. Mary’s during pool play.

“There was a lot of great, great competition at the tournament,” said Creswell Head Coach Anna Baltrusch. “People beat people that I didn’t think they would beat.”

Against St. Paul, Cassie Cunningham had seven kills and two stuff blocks, Kaylee Cunningham had four kills, Karley Bellew had three stuff blocks and Aleesha Fox had two aces.

“They’re a really good 2A team, but they didn’t get that much offense on us,” Baltrusch said.

In the semifinals, “Coquille killed us the first game; we were up by quite a bit in the second, but they came back – we were lucky to pull out the win,” Baltrusch said. “It was a great game – we’re pretty evenly matched.”

Cassie Cunningham led with 17 kills and Bailey Howell had four. Howell and Fox each provided eight assists.

In the opening set of the championship match against Cascade Christian, Creswell trailed 0-10 before fighting back to 17-25, and then 21-25. Cassie Cunningham had seven kills, four stuff blocks and two aces. Kaylee Cunningham had 18 digs and Bellew had five stuff blocks.

“It was good to see the girls battled them and didn’t give up – and we were making some headway against them,” Baltrusch said.

Earlier in the week, the Lady Dawgs downed host Glide, 25-18, 25-10, 25-11 on Sept. 26 and visiting Pleasant Hill, 25-5, 25-18, 25-14 on Sept. 28.

At Glide, Cassie Cunningham led with 13 kills. Bellew tallied 11 digs, eight stuff blocks and three aces. “She had a great game,” Baltrusch said. Sarah Lanz also had 11 digs; Kaylee Cunningham had four aces and Breanna Dapron had three. “We had a lot of aces,” Baltrusch said.

Against Pleasant Hill, Cassie Cunningham again led with 13 kills and four aces. Kaylee Cunningham had 14 digs and three aces, Howell had seven kills and 14 assists, Dapron had four aces and two stuff blocks, and Bellew had two stuff blocks.

“We won the first game by a lot, so I mixed it up in the second game, putting new people in new positions,” Baltrusch said.

The Lady Dawgs are on the road for Homecoming Week and will get another crack at Coquille.

“It’s going to be tough to beat them on the road, with Spirit Week and Homecoming stuff, but I know the girls can do it, and they know they can do it,” Baltrusch said. With both teams likely to win out the rest of the season, that game “will likely be the league championship game,” she noted.