By Brian Rathbone

The Bulletin

If there was any chance of an upset, Summit put those chances to rest against Lincoln Wednesday night at home.

The No. 8 Storm quickly dismantled the No. 25 Cardinals in straight sets 25-6, 25-11, 25-9 in the first round of the Class 6A volleyball playoffs.

“Tonight felt really good,” said senior middle blocker Paige Gordon. “We worked really well as a team and had really good energy. It didn’t end up being very challenging but we still played our game and played at our pace.”

It helped to play with a cushion. In the first set, Summit (18-6 overall) scored eight straight before Lincoln scored a point.

It was a similar story in the second set when Lincoln (15-7) spotted Summit seven points before scoring one of its own. With a 4-2 lead in the third set, Summit scored 21 of the next 28 points to move on to the second round.

“We just worked really well together,” said sophomore outside hitter Taylor Brickey, who finished with a team-high seven kills. “We all brought the energy even though it was a quieter gym.”

At no point did momentum shift to Lincoln. The early Summit leads turned into blowout wins. Summit outscored the Cardinals by 49 points in a match that lasted less than an hour.

“Volleyball is a game of momentum so you always want to keep it on your side and not give the other team a taste of it,” said Summit coach Jill Waskom. “That was really important for us to have a strong start.”

Five different Storm players — Hannah Sauer, Harper Justema, Julia Myers, Gordon and Brickey — had at least four kills. Junior setter Sasha Stringer led Summit with four of the team’s 16 aces, also finishing with 12 assists and 10 digs. Senior Sophie Matlock led Summit with 13 digs.

“They came out nice and tough,” Waskom said. “We focused on our side, talked well, had good energy and I liked the fact that we’ve kept improving.”

Summit has now won nine straight non-tournament matches and has not lost since the last week of September. Waskom noted that her team is playing its best volleyball of the season. The players feel the same way.

“We’ve been flowing really well with each other,” Gordon said. “Our energy just keeps getting better every game. It’s been really fun to play with these girls.”

On Saturday, the Storm will play their second-round match against Oregon City (20-6), which beat West Salem in five sets on Wednesday.

“We need to keep it fun, keep the fire going and keep everyone healthy,” Waskom said.

— Reporter: 541-383-0307, brathbone@bendbulletin.com

24343226