Shorthanded Cougs Drop Rematches to West Linn, St. Mary’s

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A shorthanded (or is it “shortpawed”?) Canby Cougar volleyball squad struggled this week in Three Rivers League play, dropping rematches to St. Mary’s Academy and the first-ranked West Linn Lions.

Canby (4-14, 2-10 TRL) faced West Linn at home first, missing key cog Chloe Annas and two other players.

Photo by Tyler Francke.

“Going into the match, we were already outmanned, so missing some starters was tough,” coach T.J. Schlatter admitted. “But we went in with the mindset of ‘let’s have fun and make them work for it.'”

That the Cougars did, particularly in the first and third sets. While West Linn (21-2, 12-0 TRL) won in three straight sets, Schlatter took advantage of the opportunity to try some different looks.

She asked some players to play out of position, including shifting junior outside hitter Shannon Milter to the middle.

Photo by Tyler Francke.

“She’s 5-foot-5 and didn’t hesitate to step in and do her best,” Schlatter said. “I was very proud of her. We also adjusted our blocking and defense using just a single block on the pens and adding more diggers in the court. The team did a great job adjusting and fought hard. I was very proud of the effort.”

Thursday was the rematch the Blues (8-14, 4-8 TRL) have no doubt had circled on their calendar since Canby took down St. Mary’s at home last month.

“I knew they would be tough the second time around — especially at their gym,” Schlatter explained. “They have more big, powerful hitters than we do. We lost in three, but it was a very close, very scrappy, very intense match with lots of spectacular digs, and I was again very happy with the effort of the whole team.

Photo by Tyler Francke.

“They didn’t back down, and they didn’t quit, and as a coach, that’s all you can ask.”

Senior leader Samy Vandecoevering played a particularly great match defensively, while Atalie Leder and RayAnne Schedler both also excelled on the pin against the Blues.

The Cougs stayed busy through the weekend, joining a tournament hosted by West Linn High School Saturday. Canby faced two non-league opponents, dropping a 2-1 decision to Grant and 2-0 to Crook County. Next up, Canby heads to No. 7 Oregon City (17-6, 10-2 TRL) on Monday and will wrap their season at home Wednesday versus Lakeridge (9-9, 7-5 TRL).

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